Australia is a country that is covered by bushland. With taking care of our homes and bushland that surrounds the country, Fire Danger Ratings can help you. They begin with low moderate, high and very high which encourages a review of your families’ fire plan and to monitor conditions, before reaching the next danger level.
The 'Severe' rating encourages individuals to be active in protecting their homes and themselves before a fire begins, by being both mentally and physically prepared. It then moves into extreme and catastrophic ratings, which are the highest ratings encouraging you to leave.
Most homes are not designed to withstand fires, and in extreme and catastrophic conditions, you need to leave to protect your health and safety. For example, in the Blue Mountains, Port Macquarie etc, these are covered by extensive bushland for many hectares. Many things can be done to minimise the risk of bushfires by:
1. Installing metal gutter guards and minimise leaf build up
2. Defendoor security doors and shutters that are fireproof and meet the current bush fire attack levels
3. Cut back on overhanging trees, shrubs and other plants that can quickly encourage a fire
4. Ensure hoses are in good repair and long enough to reach all the areas around your home
These are purely examples of how you can minimise the risk. However, once a fire is out of control and consumed by strong wind directing where to destroy next, there is little that can be done other than to evacuate immediately. The New South Wales Rural Fire Service https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au website is current and up to date, anyone living in high-risk areas should monitor this website constantly particularly on days varying from Severe to Catastrophic. Insurance in bushfire prone areas is imperative as is the maintenance of the currency and adequacy of said policy in the unfortunate event you have necessity to use it.
If you have a pool/water system in your backyard, you can obtain from the New South Wales bushfire service a static water supply sign to indicate that you have water that can be used for emergency situations. A necessary commodity that is in sometimes short supply during a bushfire emergency. Many houses may have been saved if emergency services had knowledge of additional water sources.
The most important consideration is that you have completed your Bush Fire Survival Plan; this can be found on the NSW Rural Fire Service website.
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