Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : January 19, 2016 Edition Contents PAGE 24 - THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, JANUARY 19, 2016
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Plan and survive
YOU don’t have to live in the country
to be at risk of fire.
If you live near areas that have signifi-
cant bush, forest, long grass, or coastal
scrub, then you need to plan ahead for
the fire season.
Not everyone thinks clearly in an
emergency and South Gippsland Shire
Council is encouraging all households
to prepare a written, and preferably
well-practised plan, to help residents
remember what needs to be done dur-
ing a crisis.
To make the process easier, the CFA
has done all the work for you.
There is an easy to use bushfire sur-
vival planning template on the CFA web -
site at www.cfa.vic.gov.au/plan-prepare/
your-bushfire-plan/ to help you write
down your plan.
Just as every family or household is
unique, every fire plan will be different
and shire Emergency Management offi-
cer Penni Ellicott, said there were many
ways to go about your planning.
“ Would you remember a plan that’s
just in your head if you’re surrounded
by smoke, heat and flames?,” she asked.
“A written plan will take the pressure
off you, and avoid arguments and de-
“ In Gippsland the bushfire season is
long and a written plan will help reduce
uncertainty and anxiety.”
At an absolute minimum, the CFA is
encouraging families to talk through 10
1. Which Fire Danger Rating is your
trigger to leave?
2. Will you leave early that morning or
the night before?
3. Where will you go?
4. What route will you take – and what
is your alternative in the event that a fire
is already in the area?
5. What will you take with you?
6. What do you need to organise for
your pets or livestock?
7. Who do you need to keep informed
of your movements?
8. Is there anyone outside your house -
hold who you need to help or check-up
9. How will you stay informed about
warnings and updates?
10. What will you do if there is a fire in
the area and you cannot leave?
In developing your plans, Mrs Ellicott
said it was important to understand the
definitions of ‘leaving early’ and ‘staying
“ Leaving early means being away from
high-risk areas before there are any
signs of fire,” she explained.
“ Leaving early does not mean waiting
for a warning or a siren - it does not
mean waiting to see or smell smoke.”
Planning to stay and defend is a big
The CFA warns most homes in high-
risk bushfire areas are not defendable
on Code Red days.
The Defending Your Property page on
the CFA website can help you decide
whether or not you are capable of de-
fending your property – and tells you
about the risks and preparations in-
“ Because fires can start and spread
very quickly in some conditions, leaving
early is by far the safest option for any-
one in a high-risk bushfire area,” Mrs
“ There are some invaluable resources
available to help you and we encourage
every household to use them. It could
mean the difference between life or
Stay updated, stay safe
THE FireReady app is increasing
in popularity as a way of staying up-
dated on fire hazards and warnings
in your local area and beyond.
The mobile phone app is the official
Victorian Government App for access
to timely, relevant and tailored warn-
ings and information in Victoria.
The app puts CFA, Metropolitan
Fire Brigade (MFB) and Department
of Environment, Land, Water and
Planning (DELWP) emergency warn-
ings and information at your finger-
Wonthaggi CFA captain Kim
O’Connor said the app is a great tool
for people to be notified of emergency
events in your area.
“It gives the public awareness of
what’s going on around you,” he said.
“It’s really simple, you set it up for
your own area and that’s all you’ve got
“When the alerts come up they
come up on screen of your phone.
“We promote it extensively and we
encourage people to download the
app for all forms of notifications.
“It gives the community warnings
and watch and act alerts in your area
so you can start being vigilant.”
Users can select a watch zone and
have a 0-100km radius from your
To download the free app, visit
the app store for Apple devices and
Google Play store for Android de-
RIGHT: The FireReady app has
proven to be a great tool for people
to stay updated on fire hazards and
warnings in your local area and be-
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