Fill EVERY receptacle you can find with water – I mean EVERY single one. This is first and foremost BEFORE you do anything else. Reason for this is if you are on town water – it is likely the water supply will fail. If you are relying on tank water – it is possible that the electricity will fail due to a power failure and you will not have access to your stored water OR a fitting MAY fail.
I don’t say this lightly – FILL EVERY receptacle, even your plastic wheelie bins.
Not everyone will have a generator, or a fire pump, but IF you do, put it in a protected place, somewhere away from direct heat IF possible. For example mine will be against the house, in a service area, that is dug down. This will not stop the generator or pump being heat affected, but it just maybe what saves our lives. Our water tanks have been set up with outlets in this service area – purely for this purpose.
Secondly, string mops and buckets, these are excellent in helping reducing spot fires. Also if you have a backpack that you might use for spraying weedicide etc,, flush it out and fill with water. This is something that uses very little water and has great effect.
Drinking water – make sure you have as much water available as possible. If this means filling every pot and pan so you have water to drink then do it.
Goggles, woollen beanies, thick woollen socks, boots and woollen clothing, leather gloves – MUST all be donned BEFORE the fire approaches. It may be hot – but it might just save your life.
Remove all door mats from around the door steps, remove all clothing off clothes lines. Put your deck furniture inside, away from direct heat. Dampen everything down that you can. If you can stuff the gutter downpipes with tennis balls (padded with fabric) and fill the spouting with water. This will stop burning debris from entering the pipes and causing the property from burning inside out. Turn sprinklers on around the property, this water may prevent bushes from catching fire and causing more of a threat.
If you have gas bottles, turn the bottles off, leave mounted AND connected, ensuring that the escape (vent) holes are pointing away from the building. Several houses were lost due to gas bottles venting into the property. If you have gas stoves, turn the valve off inside also. This may prevent the gas line from venting the gas internally. By removing the bottles, you may actually cause those bottles to turn into gas propelled rockets, so leave them attached. They are designed to vent.
If you have access to the inside of the roof, make sure it is accessible and you have a supply of water up there – I saw many houses burnt because the dust accumulated in the rafters caught fire after the initial front had passed.
I have already covered animal protection here - http://itaintalwaysso.blogspot.com/2009/10/animals-and-bushfires.html
Remember you can't/won't always be home – discuss every option available with your children BEFORE a fire threatens http://itaintalwaysso.blogspot.com/2009/10/threat-of-bushfires-your-family-and.html
Make sure your neighbours know what you are doing and make sure you know what your neighbours are doing. The number of people that were reported ‘missing’ because they failed to follow this through was horrendous. http://itaintalwaysso.blogspot.com/2009/10/be-prepared-or-prepare-to-die.html
And don’t procrastinate – it might kill you http://itaintalwaysso.blogspot.com/2009/10/fire-season-and-procrastinator.html
This is not a complete list – refer you local fire fighting agency, but these are some things that many people overlook.A list of things that should be in your cupboard and checked every year. Battery powered radio. Canned food, fuel, goggles, sturdy boots, candles,
I have experienced all of this first hand, houses lost and saved, simply because of the actions of one person, people saved, simply because of the actions of one person, towns not evacuated due to the actions of one person. People reported missing presumed dead because they didn’t inform their neighbours what they were going to do. Houses burned hours after the initial fire front passed because of door mats or dust in the rafters. People died because they evacuated the family and then tried to save the family pet.
This advice is not finite, by no means is it complete, by no means do I recommend you stay, by no means do I recommend you go – it is a PERSONAL decision, that ONLY you can make.If after the initial fire front has passed and you have to drive, drive with the windows down and drive slowly, there will be panicked people on the road AND people may be calling for help. Windows down and listen. Do not stop unless safe to do so. Trees that are damaged by fire will be collapsing. You will probably hear noises like gunshots – these are trees collapsing.
Take care – we are now in the official fire season for 2009/2010