Keep Your Family Safe: Bushfire Survival Guide

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If you only read one thing today, this should be it. 

As parents, it is our job to keep our families safe.  While we cannot always prevent a bushfire from happening or spreading, we can be prepared.

Queensland residents, if you are ever unsure of what to do, whether a bushfire could impact you or whether or not you should evacuate, the Rural Fire Service Queensland website should be your first port of call. https://ruralfire.qld.gov.au/bushfires/ 

Being prepared and having an evacuation process in place can mean the difference between life and death. It is crucial that households do not adopt the ‘wait and see’ option, but instead ensure that you have an active bushfire survival plan in place, and that you seek out information if you have to. Here’s how:

 

When it comes to bushfire preparation, every person should ask themselves these three questions:

Do You Know the Bush Fire Warning Levels?image004

When there is a bushfire in your area, you will most likely hear about it on the news, but you may not.  When there is a bushfire in your area, it is up to you to take notice and act accordingly. There are three levels of bushfire alerts:

  • Advice: A fire has started. There is no immediate danger. Stay up to date in case the situation changes.
  • Watch and Act: There is a heightened level of threat. Conditions are changing and you need to start taking action now to protect you and your family.
  • Emergency Warning: The highest level of bush fire alert. You are in danger and need to take action immediately. Any delay now will put your life at risk.

To download a bushfire survival plan, have your bushfire questions answered and keep informed on fire updates from the Rural Fire Service Queensland go to the Website: https://ruralfire.qld.gov.au/bushfires/

Do You Have a Bushfire Survival Plan?

Every family should have an evacuation plan in place. This should include where you will go; how you will communicate if you are not all at home; what to do with pets, etc. There are actions you can do to save time in case a fire starts. As soon as you become aware that there is a fire in your area, you must put your Bushfire evacuation plan into action.

It is recommended that you leave early if:

  • There is a Catastrophic Fire Danger Rating.
  • There is an Extreme Fire Danger Rating and your home has not been specially designed and constructed.
  • Your property has not been well maintained.
  • The people who will be at home are not emotionally prepared or physically fit.

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that there isn’t always time for a warning. It is important that you seek out information and see what you should be doing.

The  https://ruralfire.qld.gov.au/bushfires/ website can provide Queensland residents with the information they need when faced with a potential bushfire evacuation.

Do You Have an Emergency Survival Kit?

Part of preparing yourself is having an Emergency Survival Kit. This includes items which can help you survive a bushfire. Some of the things you might include are:

  • Portable battery-operated radio
  • Waterproof torch
  • Spare batteries
  • First aid kit with manual
  • Candles with waterproof matches
  • Woollen blankets
  • Emergency contact numbers
  • Waterproof bag for valuables

Before you leave, you should add:

  • Cash, ATM cards, credit cards
  • Medications, toiletries and sanitary supplies
  • Special requirements for infants, elderly, injured and disabled people
  • Mobile phone and charger
  • Combination pocket knife
  • Important documents, valuables and photos (in a waterproof bag)
  • Change of clothes for everyone
  • Drinking water (at least three litres per person per day)

What to Wear:

We’re not talking about what will impress the spunky Firies. Loose fitting clothing made from natural fibres such as pure wool, heavy cotton drill or denim are important to protect you from injury. Don’t forget that synthetic fabrics can melt or burn.

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Seek Out Information if You Have To

Print out our Bushfire Survival Guide to keep on the fridge or near your desk, just in case. Having the information on hand and knowing where to turn to for more information can make the difference in an emergency situation.

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Bushfire survival is not something that should be taken lightly. The harsh truth is that bushfires strike hard and they strike fast. In a bushfire, minutes can matter. The Rural Fire Service Queensland website offers up to date and accurate advice for Queensland residents. If you are in another state, be sure to check your state’s Rural Fire Service site for constant updates advising  if you could be in the line of fire. Stay informed; be prepared; and take control.

 

 

 

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