Bushfire Safety Booklet By India Creed
Introduction Prepare, Act, Survive If you live near any Bushland you are at risk from Bushfires, this booklet will guide you to prepare for a fire and to survive one.
Prepare PREPARE Preparing BEFORE bushfire season is essential. If you are not prepared then you are putting yourself, your property and your family in danger. Asses the danger to your property and your house.
Are you going to defend your house? If the answer is yes, go to page for more info. Are you going to leave for a safer place? If yes, go to page
for more info
Do you have shrubs or bushes within 20 metres of your house? This can be a threat to your home and your family. As flames can ‘jump’, bushes and shrubs must be pulled up and trees cut down.
Does your area have bushfire history? Assessing this will help you understand if your area is prone to have many bushfires in bushfire season. Do you have a safety plan with a friend or neighbour? Having a plan with a neighbour to actively defend your property, or to leave for a safer place, is essential. Do you have a written down fire safety plan? Having a safety plan that your whole family can see will help you be aware of the plan. Do you have a source to draw water from? Fighting a fire without water is hopeless. If you do plan to actively defend your property, make sure you have hoses and buckets ready.
Whether you are going to leave for a safer place OR going to stay and defend, prepare your survival pack. Below is a checklist to help you pack a survival kit.
Everybody needs a medium sized suitcase, preferably on wheels, or backpack. Pack this with the following.
Radio (adults only)
New packs of Batteries
Pocket Knife (for everyone over 12)
Change of clothes for everyone
Phone and charger
Emergency contact numbers
Portable stove or barbecue
Water container (for storing washing and cooking water)
Water, 12L per person (to last 4 days)
Enough preferably canned food to last 4 days
Cooking Gear (one person)
Can opener (one person)
Credit card/cash (adults only)
Precious items (photos, toys)
Extra car and house keys (adults only)
FIRST AID KIT
Keep this bag next to front door at all times.
Pets, such as dogs, need to have their carry cages in the car for a quick escape.
Prepare 3 Prepare your property If you plan to actively defend your property then preparing it for a burn is essential. It only takes 3 steps to prepare your property. First Step: Grass, shrubs and trees Grass and shrubs burn quickly, and if there are any close to your house you are at risk from ember attack. Grass around your whole property needs to be cut short, and any within 20 meters needs to disappear. Do the same for shrubs. Trees wont burn as fast, but are still a risk for ember attack. Any within 20 meters of your house have to go. Alternative: Burn offs Burn offs are very affective, but make sure you are keeping them under control. Second Step: Water Do you have a hose ready to fight a fire? Make sure you do. If you have a water tank, is it full? Having water to effectively use is essential, Fill the sink and bath with water to use in case your water supply is cut off. Alternative: BUCKETS
Third step: Neighbors
Neighbors are very useful. Having an extra set of hands to fight a fire, not to mention their water and other equipment. Setting up a plan with neighbors to actively defend your properties is a very good idea.
Your family needs to be aware of any plans with neighbors, so they can help out to.
: Young children (0-12) should be kept away from an active burn, as playing around a fire WILL result in injuries.
Prepare 4 PREPARE 4
Prepare to escape Leaving to late is the main reason why people die from bushfires. Or from returning when they thought they left to early. Setting up a map to track a fires progress is a good idea if you plan on evacuating. Before you evacuate make sure that your car has your survival kits in it, and packed to the brim with anything else. If you are leaving, you need to have organized a place to stay. The worst thing to happen is for you to have nowhere to stay. If you do have to escape in the midst of a fire, make sure you are wearing protective clothing;
PANTS Heavy cotton jeans; denim. SHIRT Long sleeved shirt made of natural fibres such as cotton or wool. SHOES Heavy boots, covered toes. GLOVES Gloves to protect hands from flames HAT Wide brimmed hat to stop embers falling down face and back. GOGGLES Also, wear a ‘mask’ to protect mouth and eyes from smoke.
ď‚› To know when to act, when to evacuate, when to get the hoses ready, listen to the radio. Updates on fires will tell you when to evacuate. Wet the area around your house when the fire is close if you plan to defend. The radio is no the only source of information. Many Government sites have information on how close bushfires are to YOU. Always remember to have a backup plan, in case anything goes wrong.
ď‚› To survive in a bushfire you must be well aware of your surroundings, and of the fires position. Keep your family close, always be aware of where THEY are. And then if you are prepared, you should survive.
Thank you, and Stay safe!
Published on Nov 29, 2013