Bushfire plan checklist

Bushfire plan checklist

19 October 2010

published by www.weeklytimesnow.com.au

Australia —  THIS checklist is not a comprehensive Bushfire Survival Plan – it is simply a summary to help you get started.

Actions before the fire season starts

  • Determine whether you need to plan for yourself, family, animals, work or holidays. Prepare your property: Clear gutters, fix roofing, trim and clear vegetation. Check with your local council for laws on clearing vegetation.
  • Know your trigger to leave: How, where and when you will go and whether there are alternative routes.
  • On a Code Red Fire Danger Rating day, it’s safest to leave the night before, or early in the day. Late evacuation can be deadly.
  • Pack a relocation kit, including protective clothing, food and water, woollen blankets, mobile phone and charger, a first-aid kit, medication, important contacts and pet food and bedding if needed.
  • Ensure you have adequate insurance cover for your property.

Actions during the bushfire season (the fire danger period)

  • Get the contact details of family, friends, community groups or anyone else who needs to know about your Bushfire Survival Plan.
  • Prepare a Bushfire Survival Plan for your pets and identify a safe place to move them.
  • Check your relocation kit items and store these in an accessible place.
  • Ensure you have raked up leaves, cleaned gutters and stored fuels and chemicals away from the house.

Actions leading up to days when a fire danger rating of severe, extreme and code red is predicted:

  • Determine who will be home on days with a higher Fire Danger Rating – family or any visitors at the house.
  • Make sure you know when you will leave, where you will go, how you will get there, when you will return and what you will do if you can’t leave.
  • Organise transport.
  • Make sure you know what route to take and alternative routes if that route is blocked.
  • Prepare for the possibility of several consecutive fire danger days. Try to minimise the disruption to your household and relocate to a place where you can resume normal activities where possible.

Preparing your house before you leave:

  • Close doors and windows, fill spouts with water, move outdoor furniture away from house.
  • Pack food, water and relocation kit in your car, adding any final items.
  • Turn off the mains or LPG supply.
  • Prepare a list of who to inform of your departure and destination.
  • Listen for any fire warnings issued for surrounding towns as this may be your trigger to leave. Your suburb or town may not be mentioned and it may be too late to leave by the time it is mentioned. There may be no official warning and you should not expect a fire truck.

Your back-up plan

  • Develop a back-up Bushfire Survival Plan, including where you will seek shelter if you have not left early and it is unsafe to leave your area. This is an extremely dangerous situation and you must know where you will seek shelter from radiant heat.
  • List well-prepared houses or buildings in your area that could be a safer place to shelter.
  • Establish the location of the closest Neighbourhood Safer Place and how to get there. These are places of last resort when other plans have failed. They may save your life, but they do not guarantee safety.

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