BRI (Bushfire Resilience Inc) was founded in 2020 in response to the devastating fires in south-eastern Australia. They're a community-led, non-profit association providing practical info loaded with steps your household can take to be better prepared for grass fire and bushfire risks.
Visit the BRI Resource Hub to watch any of the 15 webinars from 2020 to 2022, read transcripts, explore bite size topics, and watch interviews with people impacted by a bushfire.
5 new webinars will be held in 2023 on Wednesday 9 & 16 August, Thursday 16 and 31 August, and Wednesday 13 September and 4 October.
Viewers can ask questions before or during the webinar, and when you register we’ll also send you a link to videos.
To learn more about our presenters head to: br.org.au/presenters
To find out more about Bushfire Resilience Inc go to: br.org.au/about
It’s time to Get Ready!
The effect of Black Summer fires are still with many of us. And the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we supported each other to recover.
It also changes the way we need to think about what emergency preparedness means for us this year. Conversations about emotional preparedness and building resilience will be as important as those conversations about preparing our properties, developing our fire plans,
and packing our emergency kits.
Fire season is on us already, so it’s time to be seriously thinking, and talking, about emergency preparedness and getting ready.
Taking steps to get ready doesn’t need to be a daunting task. All you need to do is find an activity that suits you, and decide what your next step to get ready will be. For example:
- Will you talk to your family, or your neighbours, about what you will do if fire threatens your neighbourhood?
- Will you add one new action this year to better prepare your home and your family?
- Are you also prepared for severe storms?
- You could take a moment to familiarise yourself with what each of the new National Bushfire Alert Levels mean.
- You can decide you will get your information from trusted sources this summer, and download the ‘Fires Near Me’ and ‘Storms Near Me’ apps.
- You could check in with friends and neighbours, or Headspace or Wellbeing Steppers, to develop strategies for managing the anxiety that comes to many of us with fire season, and may be compounded by the isolation many of us are feeling after nearly two years of various COVID restrictions.
Whichever steps you decide to take, now is the time to start having these important conversations.
Get Ready! 2021 brought to you with the support of:
Protect your property during a bushfire
Actively defending a well prepared house.
A house is far more likely to survive if able-bodied people are there during the bushfire because they can quickly put out small outbreaks on or near the house. Most houses burn down from ember attack after the fire front has gone through.
However, to actively defend you need to make sure that you have:
- Prepared your house and property
- Created a defendable space with dry vegetation already removed from around the house
- Checked that your fire fighting equipment is in good working order and know how to use it
- Provided personal protective clothing for all members of your household
- Considered yourself as being emotionally and physically able to defend.
Property and house preparedness should be an annual event, preferably before the start of summer and the fire season. Most people who are threatened by bushfire will not have time to increase their preparedness before the fire impacts on their home.
Residents must keep in mind that in a major bushfire, CFA will not be able to provide assistance to every home.
There may also be private vehicles involved in fighting the fire. Should you plan to assist in the fire fighting effort, please consider the safety of your house and yourself before leaving your property. CFA has produced the booklet Operating Private Equipment at Fires. Be familiar with the guidelines before assisting in the fire fighting effort. These can be found on www.cfa.vic.gov.au.
Your house and property have to be prepared well before the day of the fire threat
Before the fire front arrives
- Dress in personal protective clothing to protect from radiant heat
- Shut all windows and doors to prevent smoke and flames from entering the house
- Move furniture away from the windows to prevent embers from entering the house through a broken window and catching alight in the furniture
- Secure a ladder under the manhole and place a torch nearby for checking the ceiling space for any embers that may have landed
- Fill the bath, laundry trough and buckets with water to provide a water supply in the house for putting out any small fires that may start
- Cover your face with a cotton handkerchief to protect against smoke inhalation
- Place wet blankets or towels around window and door edges inside the house to stop smoke and embers from entering the house
- Check water supplies around your home and fill any additional containers
- Remove or place inside garden furniture, doormats and other loose items that could trap embers
- Hose down the side of the house facing the fire, and garden area close to the house
- Block downpipes and fill gutters with water
- Patrol your property for any embers and extinguish them using mops and buckets of water, backpack sprayers or a fire pump
- Turn on your sprinkler system if there is one installed
- Listen to ABC radio for regular updates of the fire situation
Most roofs will not burn, so don’t get up on your roof to hose it down as wet roofs are slippery and can be dangerous.
During the fire
Go inside when it becomes too hot to stay outside. The skin on your ears and hands will alert you that conditions have become too hot to survive outside. Your home will protect you from radiant heat while the fire front passes through – typically taking around ten to twenty minutes.
Take all fire fighting equipment inside with you, including tap fittings, hoses and the portable fire fighting pump, as these items may become very hot and even melt as the fire front passes through.
Stay inside your house while the fire front passes around the house and look out for burning embers landing inside the home. Extinguish any spot fires that start. Do not hide or take shelter in a part of your house where it is not possible to see the progress of the fire. Keep a watch of the situation and return outside as soon as the main fire front has passed to extinguish any small fires that may have started.
If your house catches fire during the passage of the main fire front and you are unable to extinguish what has now become, in effect, a house fire, go outside onto burnt ground after the fire front has passed. Keep well away from the radiant heat that is being generated from the structure fire. Do not return inside the house for any reason.
After the fire front has passed
Continue to wear your personal protective clothing and go outside again as soon as it is safe. Safely water down the outside of the house, including the roof, and look out for small fires around your house.
Continue to look out for small fires and burning embers many hours after the fire has passed.
Check for burning embers:
- inside the roof
- under the floor boards
- under house spaces
- on verandas and wooden decking
- on timber window ledges and door sills
- on roof lines and in roof gutters
- around outdoor furniture
- on doormats
- in garden beds and mulch
- in wood heaps
- in sheds and carports
What to expect during a bushfire:
- Hot weather
- A lot of smoke and noise
- Loss of power and water
- Loss of phone
- Fire trucks and aircraft nearby
- Keep calm
- Take breaths
- Drink plenty of water
Defending you home during a bushfire can be a very frightening and emotional experience. The conditions will also make it physically demanding.
Find an emergency preparedness or recovery event near you.
|Get Ready - 6 Week Challenge
A weekly email from Katoomba/Leura RFS with topics such as what to do in the event of a bushfire, how to prepare your property, what to put in your Emergency Kit, and making a Plan B.
How to Prepare Your Children for Bush Fire Season - Belong Blue Mountains
Katoomba/Leura RFS - GetReady! Live Online
RFS Get Ready Weekend
|Spring Story Time - Blue Mountains Libraries
Wednesday 23rd September 11am
A Spring themed story time, including a story on bushfires.
Mid Mountains GetReady! Belong Blue Mountains
MOCS GetReady! Kids Quiz
Katoomba Parents GetReady! Belong Blue Mountains
|Get Ready Weekend - Blackheath
10am Saturday 7th November 2020
Blackheath RFS, Station Street, Blackheath
Drop by and chat with the RFS, BANC & Step by Step.
For more information visit www.banc.org.au
Mount Victoria Community Picnic
Mount Irvine Community Barbeque
Medlow Bath Get Ready BBQ
KHS Celebration and Reflection