How to Prepare for Bushfires and How to Stay Safe? - laweekly
Home » How to Prepare for Bushfires and How to Stay Safe?

How to Prepare for Bushfires and How to Stay Safe?

by Bryan Jones

Bushfires have plagued our continent for thousands of years thanks to Australia’s natural ecological cycle. One minute, you’re enjoying a nice barbeque with your friends and family; the next, power is out at 3 p.m., and your local ABC Radio station blasts an emergency siren broadcast, warning you of the impending blaze. A bushfire is a whole-body experience, assaulting your sense of smell with its smoke, your vision with its storied flames, and your ears with a constant ominous background roar. How can you be more prepared for a bushfire? Here are a few ways to stay safe and minimise the risk of injury or property loss.

Risk Assessment and Vigilance

“Know thine enemy.” These words are true today, as Sun Tzu first spoke them in the 5th Century BC. Our enemy, the bushfire, needs oxygen, wind, and vegetation to thrive. A confluence of these factors could spell doom. Additionally, the proximity of your home to forests or bushland is a marker of risk exposure.

Crafting Your Fire Escape Plan 

What do you need to do when a bushfire occurs? We don’t want to make a mad scramble in the face of blinding smoke, trying to save all our belongings. This will only serve to waste precious time. Identifying your essentials, like non-perishable foods, water, critical documents, and medications, is a priority. You should also know your house like the back of your hand and have evacuation routes that the entire family has memorised. Prepare meeting points within or outside the home where everyone assembles and is accounted for before leaving the property. Also, identify a location away from the blaze where you can evacuate and wait out the inferno. The local radio or firefighters should provide information on evacuation points and safe zones. Therefore, having a cell phone and turning on the car radio is prudent. Remember, the best preparation for tomorrow starts today, and a solid plan will help you sleep better at night and get you out of danger as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Fortifying Your Fortress

You should protect your home to the best of your ability against bushfires. Check the perimeter and keep it defensible from a bushfire threat. This involves clearing dry vegetation and maintaining your garden to meet fire safety standards. Overgrown hedges and shrubs may pose a risk in the drier seasons of the year and should be trimmed back. You can also use fire-resistant building materials in your home’s construction to withstand the blaze more efficiently. Check your roofs and gutters for loose debris that could fuel the bushfire.

Early Warning Systems

Establish a system that can alert you of an impending bushfire before it is too late. Bushfire alert apps, local radio stations, and group texts can alert you of bushfires early enough for you to assemble your loved ones, gather essential supplies, and evacuate to a safe location. Keep all your family members signed up for emergency alerts on their phones. Moreover, keep an eye out for bushfire safety alerts on group chat. Some areas have community alert sirens for natural disasters, including bushfires. 

Community Support and Resources

Keep track of community resources such as the local fire brigade, mental health crisis response systems, trauma support services, and government assistance programs for bushfire recovery. You can also volunteer your services, as it takes a village. A bushfire disaster needs all hands on deck, helping wherever possible.

Your guide to bushfire safety will prevent a bushfire from catching you off-guard. In the event of a bushfire, your priorities are to keep yourself and your family safe while minimising damage to your property. 

You may also like

Leave a Comment