Helping oldies get bushfire ready

Helping oldies get bushfire ready

27 March 2014

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Australia — WEST Coast HomeCare and the CFS are working together to hold bushfire readiness sessions to ensure older, more vulnerable people are prepared and know what to do in the event of a bushfire.

CFS community engagement officer Therese Pedler said the sessions were targeted to older people living at home semi-independently, but who received in home care.

Ms Pedler said people ordinarily had two choices when facing bushfire danger: leave early or stay and defend.

However, for older people who may have limited mobility, leaving early is their safest option.

Therefore, Ms Pedler said, they needed to have a bushfire survival plan, so they would know what to do and when to do it, not only if their home was facing immediate bushfire danger but also during the Fire Danger Season in general.

She said for some older people the thought of making a bushfire plan could be daunting, but the CFS has developed resources in easy English, so making bushfire plans is much clearer and simpler.

The CFS is working with West Coast HomeCare to make sure as many older people as possible have their plans in place, and there are one-on-one sessions with CFS staff to give people the opportunity to ask questions, and have help to make their plans.

Things people often have questions about when it comes to making bushfire plans include transport options, help with their pets, or where to go.

Ms Pedler said all these questions and more could be addressed as well as having help with making a plan at the session.

“It’s about trying to avoid confusion, anxiety or panic in the event of a bushfire, and having a well thought out plan.”

The session will be held on Thursday, April 3. Call Therese Pedler at the CFS for more information about what the sessions offer on 8621 2421 or West Coast HomeCare by March 31 on 8682 2177 to book into the session for catering purposes.

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