Nuff Nuff

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mock Fire Evacuations – My Thoughts

Mock Fire evacuations, (proposed) although in full support, is a vote-buying exercise. Watoday - Mock Bushfire Evacuations planned
SMH - Mock Bushfire Evacuations

I’ve already figured out how to not to participate. But I’ll leave my thoughts until last.

Humans are strange creatures, humans have the ability to think an event won’t happen to them, they think that drink driving doesn’t matter, they won’t get pulled over, they won’t kill anyone. Humans think that risk-taking behaviour is okay for them because they don’t take risks. Don’t worry about the loaded shotgun in the back seat, done it for years, nothing will happen.

Humans are creatures of denial, until it is too late and then they look for someone to blame. It couldn’t possibly be their fault, they weren’t told of the risks, as they are carted off to hospital minus a couple of fingers because they rode a motorcycle without gloves.

Same goes for bushfires, it can’t happen to me, I won’t be home, I’ll mow the lawns that morning, Black Saturday we had three days warning, I’ll just wait until we are given that warning before taking any preventative measures. I knew the fire was coming, so I got a cover note from the insurance company when I heard about the fire (saved heaps of money, cause I haven’t paid insurance for the past 10 years)

I’m sure you are nodding your head in agreement with at least one the above the comments.

Bushfires aren’t something to be toyed with, they aren’t something to be taken lightly, aren’t something that you can climb on the roof and avoid as the flames lick at your front door. Bushfires are an untamed beast, a beast that has been used by the native aborigines to regenerate the forest for generations. Bushfires are a beast that will kill given the right circumstances.

You can’t have a mock evacuation, people will then use the mock example when something does fail, when something goes wrong and will blame the organisers, will blame the government, will blame whoever is nearest at the time.

Mock Fire evacuations make people think that fire is predictable, make people think it’s okay to leave at the last minute, that it’s okay to just go to the nearest safest place.

Mock Fire Evacuations will only give people a false sense of security and this is my greatest fear, people think that they didn’t get enough warning on Black Saturday. The false sense of security instilled by a mock fire evacuation will only create more blame, if something does happen in the future.

The only way to prepare for a fire, as per previous posts is:- slash grass, clear gutters, create a firebreak around your house, make sure wood and junk is not stacked up against or under your house and most importantly prepare a bushfire action plan AND STICK TO IT.

A fire plan could mean evacuation, could mean staying and fighting, could mean getting the children out somewhere safe, long before the fire approaches your front door. A fire plan is tailored to each family, each place of residence – no two fire plans should be the same, other than the preparation.

Fire is not a beast to be fought unless you are fully prepared, both mentally and physically, those that have previously had health problems, you probably need to re-consider staying, although in saying that, a gentleman of 94, managed to save his house without assistance and without town water. So anything is possible, just don’t become a statistic please.

My hat goes off the Liberal State Government for thinking of the idea, but it will only instill false hope, hope that needs to be dashed and replaced with real preparation.

By the way – my method of avoiding such an evacuation? – Just go out for the day.

My preparation has started, I’ve already done round one of the slashing,** next round is cup weekend and then the week before Christmas and then once a month until such time are the risk of fire is over for another season. My children know what to do if they see a fire coming. Black Saturday saw me organise/bully those on the street who couldn’t stay without risk of losing their life, leave the street and head for the suburbs. I grew up in Marysville, I now live an area that is predominantly grassland, but that doesn’t exclude me from the risk of fire and I know that better than anyone.

Thank-you to all the CFA volunteers, thank-you to all volunteers nation-wide, world-wide, the world is a better place because of you. I know it’s a thankless task, but people I know owe their lives to you (not just under the threat of fire) and for that I say thank-you

Please take the time to read my blog, which is both from a personal perspective and possibly helpful to those people who may be affected by bushfires, Remember city or country, bushfires could affect you and your family.

**slashing is not a 2 hour operation, it takes 2 people 4-8 hours to complete, a total of 8-16 hours.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Bushfire Season has arrived – Are You prepared?

Doesn’t matter where you live, be it Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland or New South Wales, the threat of fire is not far away.

Record rains across all states have seen the undergrowth thrive, once the hot weather arrives, that same undergrowth will dry off and pose a major fire risk.

The thought of bushfires is never been far away from the minds of rural folk at the height of summer, but city folk must also pay attention. 2009 saw the suburbs of Melbourne threatened, outskirts of Bendigo burned. 2010 saw the outskirts of Adelaide threatened and 4000 hectares burnt in Tasmania.

So, doesn’t matter city or country – you MUST prepare for the upcoming season, record rains have seen record growth and with the growth comes the likelihood of record bushfires and fatalities.

Don’t become a statistic, prepare for the summer ahead, prepare your land, prepare your house, prepare your family, prepare yourself.

Some things you can do to prepare are slash grass, clear gutters, create a firebreak around your house, make sure wood and junk is not stacked up against or under your house and most importantly prepare a bushfire action plan AND STICK TO IT.

Some previous posts that you should also read:-

Children in the care of others during Code Red Days
Are you prepared to stay and defend?
Loss of power in residential properties
Are you prepared for bushfire?
Be prepared or prepare to die
Fire season and the procrastinator
The threat of bushfire and your family

Clean up before fire cleans up for you!

Remember only you can save you – no-one else knows where the fire is headed, not even the experts.