Today is hot, not a bit warm or a good day for the beach it’s hot hot HOT, dangerous hot.
This morning I’ve chatted to several people and the conversation has moved from ‘oh, it’s so bloody hot!’ to the next logical step, what if there’s a bush fire today?
Everyone I spoke to this morning has said something along the lines of, it’s ok I plan to leave. The problem is when I’ve replied whats your plan B? Not one of them could tell me theirs.
We all need a plan B and even C
I’m sure lots of my friends now think I’ve lost the plot and am a secret doomsday prepper, I’m not, not really I mean there’d be no point in me prepping for the zombie apocalypse I can’t run fast enough.
I have lived with bush fire as a threat for nearly my whole life, for as long as I can remember.
I’m not scared, I try and be prepared. I have lived through some close calls including being cut off in all directions and unable to flee the suburb. I’m wary, living where I live I should be.
Plan A to leave is a great idea, a great plan. It’s my plan A too but it might not always be possible and because of that you need plans B and C
Below I’ve included a bunch of links to help you with those plans, my links are mostly to NSW sources but I’m sure there would be state by state equivalents please make sure you have the info suited to your area as part of your preparation.
Be ready to go, have a designated fire box containing your important documents (passports, birth certs, insurance details etc) any required medication, your laptop or a USB with a back up on it, family photos things that you can’t replace, have this box ready to grab.
Make sure your car has petrol in it, or if you’re leaving via public transport that your fire box is a backpack or can be easily carried. Make sure you have a lot of drinking water with you in case of delays in leaving, where I live leaving will cause a traffic jam.
Know where you’re headed to and make sure someone not in the affected area knows where you’re headed to as well.
Have your house prepared, cleared garden, gutters etc because it’s best chance of survival is for it to be fire prepared even if you’re not there to help it and your best chance if you end up stuck in a plan B or C situation in the house is for it to be ready.
and C and D etc
These plans happen if A can’t and they might not work in succession as they’ll have to adapt to what ever is going on that caused you to not be able to leave. You need to be prepared to adapt from one plan to another without much notice.
Firstly never assume someone is at B or C because they chose not to leave, this isn’t a this can’t happen to me because I will have left scenario, it can happen if for example the fire starts right near your house or weather causes a situation to escalate faster than expected or several fires could be burning at the same time blocking exit roads
Have a plan B fire box containing good shoes you can run in and that will protect your feet from burnt or hot ground, have long sleeved pants and a top to protect you from radiant heat, a hat and gloves (or even better include these items in your plan A fire box)
Have your garden hoses plugged in and ready to use if you need to defend before you shelter (take hose inside with you when you shelter for use once fire has passed), have a ladder and shovel ready to help you defend and read up on how to defend, this link is illustrated info on if you choose to stay but if you are stuck staying this is still info you need to know because it will be about you surviving at that point:
know where you are safest to shelter in your home (note: it’s not always the bathroom, ensure you have an exit) have water where you plan to shelter.
Read Sheltering during a bushfire here:
If you can’t shelter in your home or something alters your plan B to shelter in home to plan C which for myself is I have to move from here right now, know where you are going to go, have discussions with your neighbours as to going there if your house is not safe or vice versa or your neighbourhood will have a neighbourhood safer place allocated.
Know where this is and how to get to it.
You can look up your local neighbourhood safer place here:
Make sure your family knows all the plans so you can move as a unit if required
Understand the information happening around you.
During a fire situation you will be given information by local authorities, have the radio or TV on to keep up to date with info. In my area we have a mobile app called fires near me
Understand the alert levels and what they mean:
Know what the Standard emergency warning signal sounds like so when its played on the radio/tv you pay attention. It’s pretty attention grabbing but good to know what you’re listening for:
Stay connected on social media if you have it:
Let neighbours who may not be as connected that way know what is going on, be mindful though to get your information from the correct and reliable channels. Not everyone on Facebook is an expert including myself so please add to this info if I’ve missed something important and double check any info I’ve given above to make sure it’s suitable for your situation.
In no way am I saying don’t have leaving as a plan, that is my Plan A and my plan is to do it early, what I’m saying is I’ve discovered a lot of people only have that plan in place and no plan if that plan isn’t possible, to be bush fire ready you have to know what you will do if you can’t leave not only plan to leave.