Preparing for bushfire season
EXPERTS are predicting an extended bushfire season, so Queensland Fire and Emergency Services are urging the public to be bushfire ready.
For Queensland, the bushfire season begins in July, so preparing your family and your property is more crucial than ever.
As the Rural Fire Service website states: "Homes don't have to be in the bush to be threatened by bushfires - just close enough to be affected by burning material, embers and smoke.
"It's too late to start planning as a fire is approaching.
"Prepare your property and family now, so everyone knows what actions to take to survive."
Evacuating your home in the case of a bushfire must be done well before a bushfire threatens your home and before roads become hazardous.
It's imperative to have a bushfire emergency kit which contains the following items:
Long sleeve shirts, jeans, boots, hats, safety goggles, bottled water for all family members, battery-operated radio, batteries, mobile phone and charger, natural-fibred blankets, passports and birth certificates, wallets, medications, family photos, valuables and documents, and items such as children's toys and books.
You may be able to stay in your property if the fire has a danger rating of low-moderate to very high.
Include the following items in your bushfire emergency kit if you make the decision to stay:
Safety goggles, smoke mask, gloves, first aid kit, towels, ladder, shovel, mop, bucket, hoses, fire extinguisher, knapsack sprayer.
Prepare your property
A well-prepared property stands a greater chance of surviving a bushfire. Undertake the following actions to prepare your home:
Move cars to a safe location.
Remove garden furniture, door mats and other items.
Close windows and doors and shut blinds.
Take down curtains and move furniture away from windows.
Seal gaps under doors and windows with wet towels.
Bring pets inside and restrain them (leash, cage or secure room) and provide water.
Block downpipes (at the top) and fill gutters with water if possible.
Wet down the sides of buildings, decks and close shrubbery in the likely path of the bushfire.
Wet down fine fuels close to buildings.
Turn on garden sprinklers for 30 minutes before the bushfire arrives.
Fill containers with water - baths, sinks, buckets, wheelie bins.
Tune in to warnings to monitor local radio, websites or social media for updates.
Put on protective clothing.
Drink lots of water.
These actions can help to salvage your property in the event of a bushfire, even if you plan on evacuating the property early.
A fire crew may not be able to assist your home in the event of a bushfire, and fire warnings may not be issued as a fire approaches.
Tune in to the ABC for regular updates, which in the Noosa area is 90.3FM, and follow websites and social media.
Contact the Noosa Council on 5329 6500 or visit their website.
Fire Danger Ratings
The FDR is an assessment of the potential fire behaviour, the difficulty of suppressing a fire and the potential impact on the community should a bushfire occur on a given day. In the event of an FDR of severe to catastrophic, QFES advises evacuating your home as the only option for survival.
Visit ruralfire.qld.gov.au for more information, to learn the risk of bushfire to your home, and to create a bushfire survival plan.