People living in or near bushland who have not yet developed a bushfire survival plan are reminded that Western Australia’s bushfire season is well underway.
FESA Chief Operations Officer Craig Hynes said some people were still not prepared for bushfires despite seeing the devastating effect of several big fires in the past month including Toodyay that destroyed 38 homes.
“Do not underestimate the physical and emotional stress of being in a bushfire with radiant heat, smoke, noise and burning embers flying around,” Mr Hynes said.
“If you haven’t already done so you need to develop a bushfire survival plan now to help you take action and avoid making last minute decisions that could prove deadly during a bushfire.”
When developing your plan decide if you and your family will leave for a safer place, which may be to relocate to family or friends, or stay to actively defend your home.
“Your plan should cover a range of situations you may be faced with and what you will do if things go wrong,” Mr Hynes said.
“You should prepare your home to survive the fire front, even if your plan is to leave.
“Walk around your property and imagine a bushfire is approaching, identify items that are likely to burn or where embers are likely to enter and start a fire.”
When preparing your bushfire survival plan and house also prepare a bushfire survival kit. This will help you get through the first few days after a fire.
Your bushfire survival kit should include a portable battery operated AM/FM radio, waterproof torch, new spare batteries, first aid kit, drinking water and canned food with other items such as cash and mobile phones being added on the day a bushfire starts.
Mr Hynes also encouraged people to register with StateAlert to receive emergency warnings direct to their mobile or email during bushfires where there is an immediate threat to lives or property.
“StateAlert is a free service and all home phones including silent numbers and mobiles are automatically registered,” Mr Hynes said.
“However if your residential address is different to your mobile phone customer address you will need to register.”
StateAlert is only used where there is sufficient time to send a warning and it does not replace current public information tools such as websites, information lines and the media.
Do not wait for a warning before acting. Not hearing a waring does not necessarily mean there is no threat.
“You need to be responsible for your own safety by always being aware of your surroundings, being prepared well in advance and monitoring local conditions,” Mr Hynes said.
For information on how to prepare now so you can act to survive the bushfire season visit www.fesa.wa.gov.au
To register for StateAlert visit www.statealert.wa.gov.au or call 1300 ALERTS (1300 253 787).