Preparation is not just about cleaning up around the house and having a plan. It is also about making sure you consider your physical, mental and emotional preparedness.
A bushfire can be a terrifying situation. Strong gusty winds, along with intense heat and flames can tire you out quickly. Thick, heavy smoke will make it difficult to see and breathe. The sound of an intense fire approaching can be overwhelming. Power and water may be cut off. You may be isolated. It will be dark, noisy and physically and mentally demanding.
If you have any doubts about your ability to cope, you should plan to leave early. In the event of bushfire threatening your home, Fire and Rescue NSW recommends you take the following steps:
- Stay calm.
- Report all fires by ringing 000.
- Don't enter the bush if there’s smoke or fire in the area.
- Check if elderly neighbours need assistance.
- Patrol the outside of your home, putting out any embers and spot fires that may start.
- Close all windows, doors and shutters.
- If possible, block your downpipes (a sock full of sand/soil will help) and fill roof gutters with water.
- If possible, block gaps beneath doors with wet blankets or towels.
- Collect water in buckets/bath.
- Consider keeping valuable items and documents in a fire resistant safe or metal cabinet, or have them packed and ready to go.
- Comply with police if ordered to evacuate.
- Bring your garden hose inside so that it won't melt in the fire and can still be used.
- Wet down timber decks and gardens close to the house if the fire is approaching.
- Do not stand on your roof with your hose. In bushfires, often more people are injured by falling from roofs than suffering burns.
- Keep ladders, shovels and metal buckets at hand to help put out spot fires.
- Keep a torch and a portable battery-operated radio in the home in case electricity supply fails.
- Drink plenty of water so you do not dehydrate.
- Move any fire-fighting equipment to a place that it will not get burnt.
For more information, contact your local fire station or fire control centre, or visit the Fire and Rescue NSW website. In an emergency call 000.
To ensure that your most valuable asset is covered, get a Home Insurance quote today from Allianz. Please note that for Home and Contents Insurance policies, a 72-hour exclusion period may apply for cyclone, flood, bushfires and grassfires. For full details on what is and is not covered, check your Product Disclosure Statement, Policy Schedule, or Certificate of Insurance.