If you live in Australia, then you know that the country often bears witness to bush fires that often lay waste in their wake and claim both human and animal lives! Even after several instances of bushfires over the years, people living in the country often fail to prepare for the worst! Since it is a frequently occurring natural phenomenon, it is recommended to be ready for all the threats that come along with bushfires!
A bushfire survival plan is generally segregated into three distinct parts, namely:
- Act and
Lets us talk about each of these sections in detail so that you would have access to a best bushfire survival plan, ready for deployment when the time comes!
Preparing for an emergency arising out of a bushfire consists not only ridding your property from potentially flammable substances but also preparing yourself and your family members emotionally, physically and mentally!
Prepare Yourself and your Family
Bushfires are terrifying, to begin with! The intense heat, limited visibility and smoke can make even an athlete tired in a matter of minutes! Be sure that your family and yourself are aware of the following situations that may arise in case of a bushfire:
- Thick smoke can sting your eyes and make it difficult to breathe
- Intense noise will be common
- Embers floating around can start spot fires
- Utility and water supply may get cut off during a severe bushfire
Prepare Your Property
Preparing your home to withstand the damage caused by bushfires is the only way it can survive the ordeal! It is also beneficial for you and the authorities to keep damage to a manageable level after the fire has been doused around your property. It also means that you are doing your part to keep your neighbours and their property safe during a bushfire.
Here are some ways you can prepare your home to withstand a bushfire:
- Trim the branches of overhanging/overgrown trees in your property especially of those that are near your house. Don’t forget the shrubs as well and dispose of the trimmings away from your home!
- Replace damaged tiles of your roof with new ones
- If you have put picket fencing in and around your property, make sure they are made of non-combustible material
- Make sure that the gutter and drainage pipes in your property are not blocked by dry foliage. These are extremely combustible and act as fuel during a bushfire!
- It is best to plant shrubs and trees in your garden that are low in oil content making them inert to fires!
- If you have a fireplace in your home, make sure that the logs you have stashed for future use in the fireplace are kept away from your home and are properly covered.
- Don’t forget to mow the lawn and the areas in your property that is covered in grass. Keeping the grass trimmed is the way of the wise!
- Make sure the doormat in your home’s entrance is non-combustible
- Don’t forget to install smoke detectors in your home
- Install a fire-proof door
The priority should be the survival of your family and yourself during the event of a bushfire. Don’t lose on critical moments trying to save your property during a fire as those can be replaced, not life!
Your actions during a bushfire depend on the circumstances along with your preference. Whether you are alone at home or your family is with you and whether you are choosing to leave early or plan on staying and defending your property.
Leaving early is one of the safest options which, as per statistics, have the highest survival rates! It is advised to make sure that the place you have chosen as your shelter during a bushfire after one leaves the confines of their home is safe or not. You can choose a place that is far away from the hot-spot and is not surrounded by vegetation. If you have pets in your home, make sure you take them with you in a pet-cage and if you have domestic animals in your property, herd them in an enclosure that is in a clear area, away from the woods.
Stay and Defend
It is possibly the worst idea you would be taking if you are with your loved ones and little kids! Even if you do plan on staying put and defending your abode, make sure you are prepared for what is coming and if are not confident enough, leave now!
Surviving a bushfire while making sure your family is safe is only possible when you drop everything and leave early away from the hotspot and to a safe place. It is obvious that everything may not go according to your bushfire survival plan and you would be forced to improvise in certain situations to make sure the safety of your family. Improvising means having a backup plan ready for deployment! It can consist of the neighbourhood shopping mall that is sitting clear amidst an area that is surrounded by fountains! In case the roads leading out of the hotspot are blocked by flames, quickly turn your vehicle and seek shelter in alternative safe places like the one mentioned above!
A bushfire can be a confusing situation and since humans are known to make mistakes, it is logical for you to have backup plans along with your bushfire survival plan! Make sure you are carrying enough fresh water and MRE (Meals Ready to Eat) in your emergency kit. Don’t forget to carry flashlights, fresh pairs of batteries and a tactical radio to tune in to emergency announcements or to contact the authorities to let them to your place. Be brave and calm as your family needs you to be!