Prepare for an Emergency - Prepare your home, yourself and family
Most of the information below is extracted from the NSW Rural Fire Service website: https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/
Living with the bush is part of living in New South Wales – but so is living with the risk of fire.
A bush or grass fire can happen at any time of the year but the risk is higher during the warmer months, when bush, grass or scrub is drier.
You don't have to live right near the bush to be at risk. Even if your home is a few streets back, you may be at risk.
Check if you live on Bush Fire Prone Land.
There is an increased risk of grass fires this summer. It is important that you understand grass fires and how to protect yourself, your family and your property from the threat of fire. Grass fires are unpredictable; they can start anywhere, spread rapidly and move three times as fast as a bush fire.
Think about the area you live in
What to expect:
What to expect:
What to expect:
There are a number of things which can affect the way a fire burns, including:
Even if you're not at high risk, here are some tips to help make you, your family and your home safer.
Make sure your family has a general understanding about bush fires and bush fire safety. If they are in an area that is affected by a bush fire, such as at work or on holiday, they will be able to make the safest choices. The Bush Fire Household Assessment tool can be used to help you make an informed decision regarding your 'Leave Early or Stay and Defend' choice for this bush fire season.
Embers can travel many kilometres ahead of a fire, so even if you are not directly threatened by a bush fire, you may be impacted by embers. Preparing your home can reduce the risk of embers starting spot fires around your home. For tips on what you can do to prepare your home..
Pay attention to your local radio and TV stations and monitor our website and social media pages on hot, dry, windy days. This will help you plan your day and make sure you avoid areas where there is an increased risk of a bush fire.
The NSW RFS acknowledges the assistance of the Country Fire Authority in preparing this material.
A well prepared home is more likely to survive a bush fire.
Even if your plan is to leave early, the more you prepare your home, the more likely it will survive a bush fire or ember attack. A well prepared home can also be easier for you or firefighters to defend, and is less likely to put your neighbours' homes at risk. A well prepared home will also give you more protection if a fire threatens suddenly and you cannot leave.
Here are some basic maintenance tips to prepare your property:
These tips are also available in our Bush Fire and Your Home fact sheet.
What to wear
During a bush fire, it can be very hot and there may be sparks or embers flying around. For this reason, it is important to wear personal protective clothing.
Loose fitting clothing made from natural fibres such as pure wool, heavy cotton drill or denim is important to protect you from injury. Synthetic fabrics can melt or burn.
Recommended personal protective clothing includes:
from ABC Kids for Parents 2019
Preparation isn't just about cleaning up around the house and having a bushfire survival plan.
It's also about making sure you consider your physical, mental and emotional preparedness.
A bush fire can be a terrifying situation. Strong gusty winds, intense heat and flames will make you tired quickly. Thick heavy smoke will sting your eyes and choke your lungs. It will be difficult to see and breathe.
The roaring sound of the fire approaching could be frightening. Embers will rain down, causing spots fires all around you. Power and water may be cut off. You may be isolated, and it will be dark, noisy and extremely demanding both mentally and physically.
If you have any doubts about your ability to cope, you should plan to leave early, well before a fire reaches your area and well before you are under threat.
People who are at higher risk, such as children, elderly, disabled or with medical problems, should always leave early.
Leaving early is always your safest option.
To help your family prepare for a bush fire, you need to make a bush fire survival plan. This will help you make important decisions like when to leave, what to take, and what to do with animals.
Stay informed about bushfires in your area.
Neighbourhood Safer Places are a place of last resort during a bush fire emergency.
They are to be used when all other options in your bush fire survival plan can't be put into action safely.
You should be aware of any Neighbourhood Safer Places in your area, and note them in your bush fire survival plan before a bush fire occurs. You should also know how to get there, as well as alternate routes in case the road is blocked or too dangerous to drive on.
Not all areas will have a Neighbourhood Safer Place. If there is no Neighbourhood Safer Place in your area, you should identify other safer locations you can go to as a last resort. This might include a nearby home which is well prepared, a shopping centre or oval which is well away from the bush.
A Neighbourhood Safer Place is designed as a Place of Last Resort in bush fire emergencies only. Please note that travelling to or sheltering at a Neighbourhood Safer Place does not guarantee your safety.
Use the interactive map to locate your local Neighbourhood Safer Places: https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/plan-and-prepare/neighbourhood-safer-places