Living in the Adelaide Hills brings with it many wonderful lifestyle changes, but also some challenges and new experiences. Right now, me and my family are preparing for our first bushfire season here in South Australia.
Bushfire Awareness Week recently happened and I caught up with the County Fire Service (CFS) to learn some import details and ask some questions that would help us prepare and could potentially save our lives.
Here's some pointers that are interesting to note;
1. Know your bush fire ratings and be aware of any fire bans. Click HERE to see the CFS website.
2. Be prepared - clear leaf litter, dry bark and other debris (fire fuel) away from your house. Most import places are gutters, flower beds up close to the house and solar panels where leaf litter can dry out and stay lodged. Imagine embers blowing over your home and some of that debris catching light!
3. Have a fire evacuation plan and a clear idea of at what stage you leave. Will you stay to fight fire and protect your home? Will the younger and elderly members of the family leave and go to a safer place. Remember the pets and livestock. Have a bag packed and ready to leave. It's important to consider - if your route is blocked and it's too late to head for safer ground, you will need to know how to fight fire and protect you and your family. Your local CFS can help you prepare for this instance - see the CFS website HERE for more important info and click HERE to get started on your Survival Plan
Having never lived in a bushfire zone, and wanting to be sure me and my family are as safe and prepared as we can be, I was interested to know;
1. What should I pack in my emergency kit? There are 3 types of emergency kits to consider;
1) Survival kit - to be used in case of emergency and when you intend to (or need to) stay and fight fire,
2) Evacuation Kit - to be packed with everything you need from your home that must be kept safe and transported with you when you decide to leave,
3) Recovery Kit - this will hold everything you would need for the next 24 to 48 hours after leaving home (remember, if your home is damaged by fire you will not be able to return there for some time.)
You can click HERE to see the lists of necessary items for each of the emergency kits mentioned.
2. Where is my closest safe zone? Safe zones are usually located in ovals (playing fields) and areas away from dense forests. Click HERE to see SA bushfire safer places.
3. How soon to leave on a fire risk day? You will need to stay informed - use the CFS website, follow ABC Local Radio (across Australia), Sky News Television as well as CFS on Facebook and Twitter. If a fire danger day is predicted then, if your survival plan is to leave your property and not defend then you should leave the night before or very early the day.
4. How fast will a fire travel? A typical grass fire during bushfire season could travel at up to 25 km per hour! Of course there are many factors which change the way a fire behaves - click HERE for some interesting facts about fire behaviour.
5. What are common reasons of bushfires occurring? Human error is often blamed as the most common reason - perhaps someone is using machinery on a fire ban day and a simple spark sets a grassfire. Or the disposal of a cigarette butt is careless. There are many reasons for bushfires occurring and being prepared and preparing your property is the best way to stop a bushfire starting on your property - prepare now - be #bushfireready
Yes it's a scary time and yes me and my family still have much to do before we are truly bushfire ready! But the best thing is that we are bushfire aware and we are busy preparing our house, property and the whole family in case of danger and in case we need to act in an emergency!
For more information visit your local fire department website or drop into your closest fire department hq and ask for their information booklets, leaflets and you can also pick up a kid's activity book which helps the little family members prepare too.
kisses and smiles from me xx :)
(the info I have shared is via the South Australia CFS website and guides but you can search for your Fire Department in your area on Google and get info local to you. #bushfireready #staysafe