It's a tragedy that's all-too-common during summer in Australia. Bushfires can claim hundreds of homes at a time, although effective evacuation processes that are implemented mean that for the most part only property is lost, rather than lives. Still, the thought of having to evacuate your home during a fire is a scary one. To prepare yourself if the worst was to happen, you need to know where you'll be going. You will also need to ensure that you have an effective fire preparedness kit. So what sort of planning do you need to do?
Planning to Evacuate
Know where you're going. You might evacuate to a friend or family member who lives nearby, out of the path of the fire. There will also be some evacuation centres that are activated in case of emergency, and these are generally located at schools or other community centres. Look up the location of these centres now, rather than having to find them at the time of evacuation.
The Fire Preparedness Kit
Your fire preparedness kit should be kept next to your fire equipment. While you should not attempt to battle a fire, a small handheld fire extinguisher and a fire blanket can be effective in putting out flaming embers that might be blocking your path of escape. But what should your fire preparedness kit contain?
- Your phone and charger. A smartphone is best as it allows you to receive updates via social media, as well as allowing you to use social media to inform friends and family that you're safe.
- A torch, which is useful if your electricity supply is disrupted by the fire.
- A first aid kit that includes any prescription medications that you might require.
- Important documents such as passports, birth certificates, and even a copy of your insurance policy. Keep these documents in a waterproof bag.
- A change of clothes for everyone in your family. When it becomes evident that you might need to evacuate, pack these clothes immediately and leave them in a sturdy bag by the door. This allows you to grab them as you leave.
- Don't forget your wallet so that you can withdraw money and stock up on supplies as needed while you're away from your home.
A fire preparedness kit should be a vital addition to any Australian home. While you hope that you will never have to use it, it's definitely a case of better safe than sorry.