Planning out everything you need to do in the event of a bushfire and writing it down can save precious moments in a stressful time, a Brogo resident has said.
Cheryl Nelson and her partner revise their bushfire survival plan every year, making sure they have a list of what to take and what needs to be done around the house to prepare for the possibility of a fire.
She said it was important to write a list in advance so you could work through what needed to be done around your house in a methodical way.
“If it’s written down, you go to your list and work through it,” she said.
She and her partner arrived home to their house at Hawks Head Rd on the afternoon of August 15 after learning about the bushfire that started off Yankees Gap Rd before moving north and east through Wadbilliga National Park in the direction of Brogo.
“It was really scary here and I could feel myself kind of shaking,” Ms Nelson said.
They only had a couple of hours to prepare and pack before police arrived around 3.30pm to tell them if they wanted to leave then they should go.
“For me it was really valuable having a written list,” Ms Nelson said.
“When you’re in a state of high adrenaline and high anxiety, when there’s lots of noise, wind and smoke around you, it’s really good to have a list so you know what you are taking.
“When you’re in a flap, it makes it very difficult to think.”
They chose to evacuate the house that afternoon and spent the night at Cobargo Showground before returning the next day to continue to prepare the house, but said the decision to leave was a hard call to make.
“The fear factor of staying and defending your house, we decided a long time ago we didn’t want to experience that,” Ms Nelson said.
“We thought ‘let’s get ourselves safe and not go through it’.”
Speaking on Tuesday Ms Nelson, who runs Natural Chicken Health at Brogo, said conditions had improved from the strong winds firefighters had battled against in the previous week.
This was the same view of the NSW Rural Fire Service, who had started backburning on Monday in an attempt to halt the spread of the fire.