From floods to fire; get ready

While the fire season has been delayed due to heavy rainfall and flooding in some areas, firefighters warn warmer weather is on the horizon and residents need to be prepared.

The Country Fire Authority is running two public workshops for residents to learn what to do at home in the event of a bushfire and how to best prepare properties leading up to the bushfire season.

The first workshop will be held at Felltimber Community Centre on Friday, December 2 from 10am to 11am, while public demand for an evening session has been met with a second session at Baranduda Community Centre on Monday, December 5 from 6pm to 7pm.

CFA community educator Maureen Piera is encouraging residents to come along to speak with the CFA and learn how to prepare for a bushfire.

“Part of the problem this year is the fact that we have had so much rain and our community is getting complacent,” she said.

“I would love to think we are not going to have much of a summer but if our rain stops and we get into a summer in February, we will have a lot of growth around and this is a problem.”

Maureen said with the new fire danger rating system changing to four levels instead of six, residents need to be confident of the action they will need to take for each level.

“If the fire risk is extreme, residents need to know what to do and can’t leave it to that day,” she said.

“Families with children are encouraged to ask about what their daycare or school’s policy is on a catastrophic day because school buses don’t run on these days and schools may even be closed.”

Participants will leave the workshop with a written fire safety plan and are encouraged to share their plan with extended family.

“We will have draft plans and templates for bushfire plans but it’s important that residents make these plans when not under pressure because when you are under pressure you can make bad decisions,” Maureen said.

“It’s also a joint decision with family, so it’s a good idea to sit down and make sure that extended family are aware of your plan, especially if it includes them.

“There can be many things to factor into a plan like, can you take family members or are they too ill to travel and so what plans can you make.”

Children are welcome at both workshops.

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