PREPARE. ACT. SURVIVE.
How to prepare for and survive a bushfire in your area
A bushfire burns through an urban area. Available here
A bushfire has blocked the road leaving no escape. Here
Bushfire season in different parts of Australia. here
- Repair or cover gaps in walls
- Attach a sprinkler system to gutters
- Install fine metal mesh screens on windows and doors
- Clean your gutters
- Install gutter guards
- Keep lawns short
- Cut back trees that hang over buildings
- Clean up fallen leaves around your house
- Have hoses long enough to reach around your house
- Check and maintain your home and contents insurance.
- Is your family prepared to cope with this?
- Are they ready mentally?
- It is already hot in summer, now add the heat of a bushfire
- Sparks will fly and some will land in the house, these will need to be put out and be watched.
- As the fire gets closer the wind will be stronger carrying heat
- Smoke will make it difficult to see and make it hard to breathe
- It will be hot but you will also have to wear heavy protective clothing
- It is likely you will lose power, telephone and water services
- The fire front will normally take five to fifteen minutes to pass your house
If you are fine with all of this then you will remember to have:
- sufficient independent water supply of at least 20,000 litres and a petrol, diesel, or generator powered pump capable of pumping 400 litres per minute
- Loose-fitting clothes made from natural fibres, NO SYNTHETICS
- whether you will stay or go
If you choose to GO you will need to think about:
- When will you leave?
- Where will you go?
- How will you get there?
- What will you take?
- What is your backup plan?
If you choose to STAY you will need to think about:
- Do you have the right equipment?
- When will you start protecting?
- What will everyone do before, during and after the fire?
- Does everyone know what to do? In all situations?
- What is your backup plan?
- Very High
Fire Danger Rating
This is a picture of a fire danger rating sign. Here
A simple explanation of what each of the sections means. here
Fire danger warning sign
A fire danger sign, in the wild. here
Its an extreme/catastrophic day. What do I do?
On a catastrophic day leaving early is your only option as homes are not designed to survive fires in catastrophic conditions. You should leave areas prone to bushfires the night before or early in the morning, DON'T "wait and see". Have a concrete decision on where you go, how you will get there and when you will go, stick to this plan. If you can't follow your bushfire plan go to a place of last resort like a well-prepared house or a school or shopping centre far away from the bush.
On an extreme day leaving early is the best option but is also possible to stay and defend, if you are properly prepared.
When to Leave
What to take
When leaving for a bushfire you should bring with you:
- Change of clothes
- Phone and charger
- Something to keep you occupied
- Emergency contact numbers
- First aid kit
Where do I go?
You should go where your bushfire plan says you will go. And you should leave when you planned to leave. If the fire is sudden and nearly upon you, don't try to drive away you will most likely be caught by the fire. Instead you should leave to a place of last resort.
Place of last resort
A sign about a place of last resort, or a bushfire neighbourhood safe place. here
An emergency bushfire kit including most of the things that should be taken in an emergency
The aftermath of the Rutley's Road bushfire. Here
What do you do if it is too late to leave?
When is it safe to return?
- Emergency: 000
- ACT Rural Fire Service (general): 13 22 81
- Speak and Listen users: 1300 555 727
- TTY Users: 133 677
You should also have the contact details of friends and family so you can call them to tell them you are safe.
Ecosystem Solutions. (2014). Fire Risk Assessment & Planning (BAL Assessments). [online] Available at: http://ecosystemsolutions.com.au/services/fire-risk-assessment-and-planning/ [Accessed 3 Apr. 2016].
ABC News. (2013). Thousands stranded as fires devastate Tasmania. [online] Available at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-01-05/conditions-cool-as-fires-devastate-tasmania/4453532 [Accessed 3 Apr. 2016].
Mitchamcouncil.sa.gov.au. (n.d.). Preparing for Extreme Weather and Emergencies. [online] Available at: http://www.mitchamcouncil.sa.gov.au/page.aspx?u=1655 [Accessed 3 Apr. 2016].
Schools.aemi.edu.au. (n.d.). Bushfires: Be Prepared. [online] Available at: https://schools.aemi.edu.au/bushfire/bushfires-be-prepared [Accessed 4 Apr. 2016].
Country Fire Authority. (2012). About Fire Danger Ratings. [online] Available at: http://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/warnings-restrictions/aBacbsa.org. (1998). FIRE STATUS. [online] Available at: http://www.bacbsa.org/fire-status-camp-k/48577 [Accessed 4 Apr. 2016].out-fire-danger-ratings/ [Accessed 4 Apr. 2016].
Rfs.nsw.gov.au. (n.d.). Plan and prepare. [online] Available at: http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/plan-and-prepare [Accessed 4 Apr. 2016].
Dfes.wa.gov.au. (2016). Prepare Before the Bushfire Season. [online] Available at: http://www.dfes.wa.gov.au/safetyinformation/fire/bushfire/pages/preparebeforetheseason.aspx#preparetoactivelydefend [Accessed 4 Apr. 2016].
ABC Sydney. (2009). Being bushfire ready this summer. [online] Available at: http://blogs.abc.net.au/nsw/2009/11/bush-fires-in-new-south-wales.html [Accessed 4 Apr. 2016].
Dfes.wa.gov.au. (2016). After a bushfire. [online] Available at: http://www.dfes.wa.gov.au/safetyinformation/fire/bushfire/pages/afterabushfire.aspx [Accessed 4 Apr. 2016].
News. (2015). Resource centre: Bushfire contacts. [online] Available at: http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2014/09/30/resource-centre-bushfire-contacts [Accessed 5 Apr. 2016].
New south Wales Rural Fire Service. (2016). Fire Danger Ratings. [online] Available at: http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/9428/Fire-Danger-Ratings-Factsheet.pdf [Accessed 5 Apr. 2016].