Bush Fire- How to prepare

Fire has no boundaries (except for water), whether you live in the bush or an inner-city home, fire can impact us all. I am no hero but living and working in a bushfire area, being prepared and taking responsibility for my environment is the one thing I can do.

My fire plan is to leave, but if I cannot this is my plan

No. 1 Self-Protection

The way we dress in times of fire can mean the difference between life and death. Protecting ourselves from radiant heat does not mean buying lots of gear, check or wardrobe for natural fibres such as wool, heavy cotton, hat and leather closed shoes.

Here’s my gorgeous ensemble includes

  • Felt hat
  • Cotton scarf
  • Goggles and face mask
  • Overall
  • Leather gloves
  • Wool socks and leather boots

With heat being known to exceed 1200 degrees during a bushfire, staying hydrated is critically important, so ensure you have a lot of water on hand.

For further information on how to prepare for fire check out

ACT                     ACT Emergency Services Agency

NT                       NT Fire and Rescue Service

NSW                    RFS Plan and Prepare

Queensland       Rural Fire Service

Tasmania            Tasmania Fire Service

South Australia Country Fire Service

Victoria               CFA Plan and Prepare for Fires

WA                      DFES Bush Fire Service

 

N0. 2 What do I take?

Think about what you, your family and pets require to live day to day- clothes, medicines, special foods etc.

  • Pack an overnight bag with change of clothes and toiletries
  • Medications and first aid kit
  • Mobile phone and charger
  • Battery operated radio, spare batteries
  • Hard drive
  • Laptop
  • Passwords
  • Jewellery, photos and valuable
  • Wallet, Purse

Documents

  • Insurance- House, car, health, motor bike, boat etc
  • Passport
  • Will
  • Rates
  • Bank Account details
  • Utilities- Power
  • Vehicle registration
  • Superannuation
  • Investment Portfolio
  • Certificates- Birth, Marriage, Education, Qualifications

Pets

  • Suitable transport carriers or leach
  • Medications
  • Dietary requirements
  • Food and drinking water
  • Familiar item, toy, bed, treats to reduce stress

No. 3 Stay safe and informed

Living in rural areas often comes with black spot, meaning little or no mobile coverage. Investing in a battery operated radio and tuning to your local ABC radio is your best method to stay informed.

When preparing to leave be sure you have a woollen blanket and water in your car. Ensure you have a full tank of fuel; this is something you can organise the day before you leave. Power supply is often disrupted during a bushfire, think about where you park your car, if parked in a garage door with electric door, take into consideration the time and effort to open the door, consider parking it outside as this is one less thing to worry about.

No 4. Shared Responsibility

Since August 2019, Australia has experienced devastating fires, as I write this 19 people have died, 28 people missing in Victoria alone, with an estimated 15 million acres destroyed, 1300 homes and an estimated 450 million wildlife have been destroyed.

Scientist have linked these devastating fires to climate change, how we turn this situation around is something we all need to take responsibility. For tips on how to reduce your carbon footprint check out The 10R’s© Eco Organiser®

In the meantime, with emergency services stretched to their limits we have a responsibility to reduce fuel loads around our homes and make our communities safer. The time will come to donate quality items, but now we can contribute be clearing our waste, rubbish and clutter from around our homes and community.

Organise a community clean up groups help out a neighbour that may have difficulty cleaning their gutters. Contact your local animal shelter and ask what they need to support injured wildlife.

And when these fires are finally out and we tally up the cost of climate change, I ask you to  rethink

  • Is this the future I want?
  • What am I prepared to give up to reduce my carbon footprint?

“live simply, so others can simply live” my hero Gandhi

Stay safe