Bushfire season is a time of high risk for many Tasmanians, especially those living in rural or remote areas. This year brings increased risks with the Bureau of Meteorology announcing that El Niño weather system has come into effect, which can lead to an increased risk of more frequent and severe heatwaves, bushfires, and drought across parts of the country.
While having a bushfire plan has always been important, it's now more critical than ever to make sure you're fully prepared for a bushfire.
Ensuring the safety of yourself, your loved ones and your pets during a bushfire is of paramount importance. While you may not always be able to protect your home and belongings, having a well-thought-out plan can ensure the survival of your family.
Create an Emergency Kit: Your kit should include crucial items such as medications, copies of vital documents, first aid supplies, toiletries, a battery-operated radio with spare batteries, appropriate clothing, and other necessities you may require if evacuation becomes necessary.
Protect Your Valuables: Prepare your cherished possessions so that you can swiftly take them with you when you leave or relocate them to a secure location if fire conditions worsen.
Plan Your Evacuation Route: Establish a clear evacuation route and destination, taking into account potential road closures and transportation limitations.
Know Utility Shut-off Locations: Familiarise yourself with the locations of electricity, water, and gas shut-off points and learn how to turn them off in case of emergency.
Consider Your Pets: Make provisions for your pets if you cannot remain in your home. Make sure you have enough food to last three days. For more info check out the RSPCA Ready, Pet, Go! plan. You can download the plan here.
Identify a Nearby Safer Place: Determine a nearby safer place for last-resort shelter in the event that a fire approaches too rapidly to implement your primary plan. This could be a sports ground or open space; you can find your closest identified Nearby Safer Place at fire.tas.gov.au.
Communicate Your Plan: Discuss your plan with your family and close contacts who might not live in the bushfire risk area. Make sure children understand what they should do and practice the necessary steps.
St John Ambulance Tasmania offers a range of first aid kits that are suitable for different situations and needs. Whether you are travelling in a caravan, camping in the wilderness, or staying at home, you can find a first aid kit that meets your requirements. You can buy online today from our online shop or visit one of our branches in Hobart, Launceston or Devonport.
You should also consider doing a first aid course. First aid is a vital aspect of bushfire preparedness as it equips you with the skills to effectively treat burns, smoke inhalation, or asthma attacks in emergency situations. You can check out our courses here.
Be sure to head over to Tas Alert to stay up to date with current warnings and to access more resources.