Usually, we use this blog to provide information about our custom built doors and windows and how they have provided value to our customers in the Perth area. That isn’t happening today. Today, we are going to remind you how dire a bushfire can be and how you need to be prepared with a firm emergency plan in case a bushfire hits your neighbourhood.
In WA, it is estimated that one in three families are not prepared for a bushfire because they don’t see themselves as being “at risk.” Recently, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services polled 695 residents across the South West Land Division and Perth to determine their level of bushfire readiness.
The results came as a total shock: less than half of those people knew exactly what they are supposed to do in the case of a bushfire. 74% of those who responded said they did not have a plan in place. 61% said they knew they were at risk but hadn’t come up with an emergency plan in case of a bushfire.
According to Steve Fewster, the Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES), WA “is one of the most bushfire prone areas in the world.” He sees the threat of bushfires, especially during the hot months, as “part of living here.” Mr Fewster is concerned that so many people don’t have a bushfire plan, but encouraged that “you can sit down tonight with your family and write one up.”
Your Bushfire Plan
If you don’t have a bushfire plan, sit down tonight and write one up. Here are some recommendations by the DFES.
Create your bushfire emergency plan now and get it written down. Then, practise your bushfire plan with your entire family. Make sure everyone knows exactly what to do. One of the more important parts of the play is your “triggers” for when you are going to evacuate.
Make your property as “unfriendly” to bushfires as possible and keep it that way all summer. That includes cutting long grass, pruning trees back, removing any garbage from around your house and clearing your roof gutters.
Prepare an emergency kit that is ready to leave with you if you evacuate or are stuck in your home and can’t evacuate. This includes, a torch, a first aid kit, a battery-operated radio, water, non-perishable food and a woolen blanket. If you evacuate, make sure to remember your important documents, house keys, car keys, mobile phone, as well as your charger.
Make it a habit to monitor fire ratings and weather during the summer.
In the case of a bushfire, make sure to close all windows and doors. Turn off any evaporative air conditioner. Keep a small stream of water running through your pipes if possible.
Be aware of the different levels that are assigned to bushfire warnings. Make sure that you are up to date in any emergency by getting your information from multiple sources when possible.
When to Evacuate
Remember: it is always better to evacuate early than it is to wait until it’s too late. During a bushfire, you can lose power and water. Roads can be cut off and impassable, trapping you in a potentially dire situation and unable to reach help or family members.
Fight or Run?
We know that your first instinct may be to protect your home, but it is much more important to protect yourself and your family. If you think you can protect your home by spraying it with a bit of water while a bushfire is closing in, you are wrong. If you want to saturate your home, you can, but make sure you begin evacuation early enough to make it out.
Remember that roads will be jammed as everybody tries to get out. That can slow you down and increase the amount of time it takes to evacuate.
The bottom line: you can replace your home and its belongings. You can’t replace yourself if you die in a bushfire.
Please keep yourself and your family safe and worry about your belongings later.