After what our country went through in late 2019 and early 2020, it would be nice to think we’re all ready for the next bushfire season. But with a certain global pandemic occupying our thoughts in recent months, we could be forgiven for taking our eye off the ball when it comes to bushfire readiness. So, we’d like to remind you of what you can do to help keep your family and property safe if bushfires flare up in your area.
PROTECT YOUR HOME
Get in early when protecting your home. Bushfires move quickly and unpredictably, and leaving it to the last minute could be too late. As soon as you can, follow these steps on a regular basis:
- Trim overhanging trees on your property to stop a fire from spreading.
- Remove any grass cuttings to leave a cleared area.
- Any items that could quickly catch fire should be moved as far away from your home as possible. These items include wood piles, paint, leaves, doormats, and outdoor furniture.
- Remove ALL leaves and debris from your roof gutters. This material acts as fuel and your home can easily catch fire from burning embers.
- Have high-quality and hole-proof hoses accessible at all times. They need to be able to reach all around your house and be connected to a reliable water source.
PREPARE AN EMERGENCY SURVIVAL KIT
Don’t wait until the bushfire season begins. Creating an emergency survival kit is something you should do now. Keep the assembled items in a waterproof storage container; keep the container in a location which you can get to in a in a hurry, and be sure the whole family knows where it is. Your kit should include:
- Battery-operated radio
- Spare batteries
- First aid kit (with a manual)
- Woollen blankets
- Waterproof torch
- Bottled drinking water
- Emergency contact numbers
- Cash, Credit Cards, Debit Cards (Before you leave)
- Medications, sanitary supplies, and toiletries.
- Mobile phone and charger
- Important documents (birth certificate, passport, marriage certificate etc.)
- Valuables and sentimental items
- Change of clothes for each family member
DON’T FORGET YOUR PETS
Make sure your pet is wearing their ID tag, and prepare an emergency kit just for them. This will include their leash, food, medication, basket and a favourite toy. Make sure they have plenty of water, and keep them on a leash and beside you at all times so they won’t run away if they get frightened.
CREATE AN EVACUATION PLAN
What will you do if you and your family have to leave your home in a hurry? The earlier you leave, the safer you’ll be; by staying too long, you may no longer have the option to evacuate safely. That is why it is important to have an evacuation plan that you’re all aware of. This plan should include the following steps:
- Make sure all family members are accounted for
- Monitor the situation closely on local radio
- Turn off the gas mains/bottles
- Move any flammable items out of reach from the house
- Fill gutters with water
- Use socks full of sand to block any drainpipes
- Close all windows, doors and vents
- Fill any sinks, baths, bins, and buckets with water
- Soak any towels or rugs with water and spread them across all external doorways
- Don’t forget your emergency survival kit
For emergencies contact 000 immediately
Bush Fires Information Line: 1800 679 737 (NSW RFS)
Track Fires Near You: RFS Website
If you need a plumber for an emergency, D&K Egan is available 24/7. Contact us on 0427 625 716 for an immediate response, or a non-emergency query via our online contact form.