Bush fire season is coming: stay safe

Bush fire season is coming: stay safe

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According to our state’s Country Fire Authority (CFA) Victoria is one of the most fire prone areas, globally. Right now is the time to make decisions and act. Please stay safe. The 2014 / 2015 seasonal outlook is an active fire season, particularly in central, western and northern Victoria. CFA Chief Officer Euan Ferguson shared this sobering prediction with the AFAC and Bushfire & Natural Hazards CRC Conference in New Zealand recently.

Take action right now

If you’re living in a high risk fire area, you need to be taking action right now. You must be well prepared and keep yourself, loved ones and your community protected.

Or, maybe it’s time to make genuine plans to relocate to an area where the threat is greatly reduced?

Staying put for now? Plan and prepare.

Surviving fire season is a shared responsibility. Both the Country Fire Authority (CFA) and the community play a collective role in keeping everyone safe.

Please make sure to use the Country Fire Authority’s (CFA) website, www.cfa.vic.gov.au as your main source for up to date information. We are not experts in this field, the CFA are. We’re an online community that cares about your safety. We believe every bit of prompting could help save lives.

If you love where you live enough that you’re prepared to continue the ongoing cycle of staying prepared and on high alert, here are some simple preparations you can get on top of now.

Get your fire plan ready.

A plan scribbled down on a notepad, or in an email is better than no plan. Agreeing who will do what, and when, is the key. Visit www.cfa.vic.gov.au for information on getting a fire plan ready.

Make sure smoke alarms work

Change your batteries right now. And keep spare batteries handy.

Turn hardcopies into softcopies

Scan important documents (for example, passports and insurances) and photos on to an electronic memory stick.

Pack an emergency kit

Have an emergency kit packed, safely located and ready to go. Make sure everyone knows where it is. Include:

  • a copy of your fire plan
  • a first aid kit
  • your memory stick of documents and photos
  • a powerful torch with spare, unopened batteries
  • a battery powered radio with spare, unopened batteries
  • a list of all your key telephone contacts, including the CFA, doctor, local Council, energy companies
  • a spare mobile phone with a pre-paid SIM card that you charge up every say, Wednesday
  • a hardcopy map with alternative exit routes clearly marked on it
  • woollen blankets
  • an overnight bag with a change of clothes, sanitary supplies and toiletries
  • plenty of bottled water.

Is it time to move from a prone zone?

The paradox of many high risk fire zones, is that they’re an idyllic, peaceful, leafy location to lead a tranquil lifestyle. Tranquility, often means sacrificing easy access to good infrastructure and services like medical specialists. This isn’t always the case. Many suburbs surrounded by grass, bush or parkland can also be high risk zones.

If you’re retired, or heading toward retirement, consider the investment – the time, emotion and cost of maintaining a property in a fire zone. Imagine living in a location where late spring and summer is about relaxation, not being on constant alert? Is it time to treat yourself to a less demanding lifestyle?

Geographically distant family and friends of loved ones living in high risk fire areas rarely sleep easily during fire season. The decision about where you choose to retire and embrace your later years affects all those that care about you.

You’ll still need to be prepared now, for this season. Think about making it the last season that you need to be living on high alert. De-stress your lifestyle. You deserve it.

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