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Plan and prepare during Fire Action Week

Published on 16 October 2017
Categories:
  • Community
  • Emergency management
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With Fire Action Week this week, 13-20 October, Maroondah City Council is urging all residents to use this time to plan ahead and prepare for the upcoming fire season.

Fire Action Week is Victoria’s annual fire planning and preparation week, signalling the start of the annual Summer Fire Campaign in partnership with emergency services agencies.

Deputy Mayor, and representative on the Maroondah Community Safety Committee, Nora Lamont said the week was a great opportunity for residents to find out more about the fire risk in their area, safeguard their property, and decide well in advance what to do in the event of a grass or bush fire.

“Right now, forecasts show that there is potential for an above-average fire season in some parts of Victoria. Preparing a fire plan and ensuring you and your property are well-prepared can make all the difference if a bush or grass fire were to strike,” Cr Lamont said.

“This week, talk to your family, friends and neighbours about the fire risk where you live and make plans for what you’d do on hot, dry, windy days, making sure that you’re prepared for all situations,” Cr Lamont said.

“Last summer, there were over 2000 warnings issued in Victoria. It’s up to you to stay informed by using more than one source of information, and understand the levels of warnings, what they mean and what you should do.

“Your plan should outline what you would do before, during and leading up to high-risk days, as well as having a back-up plan just in case. Tell your friends and family what you plan to do in the event of a bush or grass fire. And don’t forget about your pets or the risk of regular house fires,” Cr Lamont said.

“If you live or work close to grassland, parks or paddocks, you could be at greater risk of fire this summer. Leaving early on high-risk days before a fire starts – not when you can see flames or smell smoke – is the only way to guarantee you and your family’s safety.

“Remember, you won’t always receive a warning or be told what to do if a fire breaks out. Don’t wait and see, it’s up to you to be well-prepared, know what to do and take action,” Cr Lamont said

In the lead-up to summer, CFA and MFB brigades around the state will be getting out and about in their community to talk about preparing for fire. You can check the CFA website for information on what’s happening in your local area.

“The CFA website is a fantastic resource and offers advice on preparing a Bushfire Survival Plan,” Cr Lamont said.

“Making informed decisions is vital to your safety during a fire. Now is the best time to understand your fire risk and get prepared, not leaving it to when a fire breaks out,” Cr Lamont said.

Fire Action Checklist

This Fire Action Week, follow some simple planning and preparation tips to make sure you’re ready for the upcoming summer:

  • Check the fire risk where you live
  • Download the FireReady/VicEmergency app to your mobile device.
  • Start checking Fire Danger Ratings daily
  • Visit Vic Emergency Respond to check warnings and make sure you understand the three levels of warning and what they mean.
  • Tune into ABC local radio, commercial and designated community radio stations or Sky News TV, or phone the VicEmergency Hotline (1800 226 226). Warnings are also available on VicEmergency’s Twitter (@vicemergency) and Facebook (facebook.com/vicemergency), and CFA’s Twitter (@CFA_Updates) and Facebook (facebook.com/cfavic).
  • Pack an emergency kit of essentials. This could include important documents, medications, a mobile phone, torch, battery operated radio, money and clothes so you can leave easily before a fire starts.
  • Talk to your household and neighbours about how you’ll know when to leave and where to go to stay safe.
  • Do you have family, friends or neighbours who need help preparing to leave early? Talk to them about when they’re going to leave, where they’re going to go, and how you can help.
  • Be prepared for power failure in extreme weather conditions. Read the Power Outage Guide

Keeping a cool head in the summer heat

Summer is not about fire alone. Maroondah City Council has an official heatwave plan which aims to help those who are most at risk of heat-related incidents.

This includes pregnant women, nursing mothers, babies and young children, people aged 65 and over, and people who have a serious medical condition. This may mean some Council services or appointments could be cancelled, and should this occur, clients will be notified.

Tips to staying cool include:

  • Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water
  • Staying out of the sun
  • Closing curtains and blinds
  • Looking after others, including pets (who should be kept indoors and well hydrated)

For 24-hour health advice, residents can contact NURSE-ON-CALL 1300 60 60 24.

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