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Bushfire season: It’s time to get prepared

Last bushfire season was one of the worst ever, destroying homes and disrupting lives. With the 2020-21 season officially under way, now is the time to ask yourself: am I prepared?

In a statement on Saturday, 1 August Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford said complacency is not an option this bushfire season.

“We saw how devastating bushfire can be in what was the state’s worst bushfire season,” Mr Crawford said.

“The season may officially start today, and while we are expected to experience a different bushfire season than last year, we all need to make sure we are prepared for every possibility.

“Some parts of the state are still experiencing favourable conditions for hazard mitigation activities and it’s important Queenslanders continue with their own preparations.

“No matter where you live, whether it’s a rural or urban area, you need to have a plan in place in case bushfire strikes.”

Mr Crawford said it was important to have an up-to-date Bushfire Survival Plan.

“Bushfire Survival Plans are not one-size-fits-all and residents should tailor theirs to ensure it meets the needs of their own family’s circumstances,” he said.

“A plan should include the items residents would take when evacuating a property, or whether or not you will choose to leave early.”

Mr Crawford also said there are a number of simple steps residents could take around their homes.

“This could be clearing leaves and other debris from gutters and the roof, culling back trees close to your home and regularly mowing the lawn,” he said.

During bushfire season, it’s important to know what’s going on in your area. Even if you don’t live anywhere near bushland, bushfires can affect you while you’re on holidays or travelling.

Make sure you tune into warnings, local media and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services social media.

To help you better understand the risk of bushfire in your area, visit Queensland Fire and Emergency Service’s website and enter your postcode or suburb to see the bushfire potential in your neighbourhood.

Be bushfire ready

Prepare buildings

  • Clear your roof and gutters of debris, invest in and test gutter plugs
  • Enclose open areas under decks and floors
  • Install fine steel wire mesh screens on windows, doors, vents and weep holes
  • Maintain pumps, generators and water systems regularly
  • Point LPG cylinder release valves away from the house
  • Seal all gaps in external rood and wall cladding
  • Relocate flammable items such as wood piles, boxes, hanging baskets and outdoor furniture away from your home

Prepare access for emergency services

  • Display your house or lot number prominently
  • Create adequate space for fire trucks to enter and exit

Prepare the garden

  • Mow your grass regularly
  • Clear excess ground fuel loads such as leaves, sticks, branches and grass regularly
  • Trim branches that are lower than two metres from the ground

Prepare yourself

  • Purchase and maintain sufficient personal protective equipment including a smoke mask, sturdy gloves, boots, hat and safety goggles
  • Keep a fully-stocked first aid kit
  • Have appropriate insurance for your home, contents and vehicles
  • Have an up to date Bushfire Survival Plan

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