After winning House Rules in 2018 Mandy and Toad Heffernan had a lot to loose during the 2019-20 summer bushfires.
The fires that summer quickly surrounded their newly renovated homestead.
"They were coming at us in three different directions, north, south, east and west. The south fires got my parents and grandparents houses and also the houses of many people we know,"said Mandy.
Although they said they had more preparation time than others to organise their family and their farm, they were under immense pressure for weeks on end trying to keep some normalcy to their lives whilst still carrying out daily tasks, such as milking their cows and caring for their twins Lenny and Layla who were toddlers at the time.
"It was really weird for the kids because it was just dark all day. There's no routine at all, you don't have lunch at the right time, you just kind of live in the present of every moment waiting for news.
"We made sure we were positive even though we were all freaking out internally, but you don't want your kids to be scared of fires, but it definitely has impacted them.
"Whenever they see fog or smoke out over the mountains now they ask if there's a fire again," said Mandy.
Mandy and Toad were some of the lucky ones. Their homestead remained intact despite coming very close to being lost in the fires.
However, Mandy remembers the night when news came in about her parents house in Eden and her grandmother's house at Kiah.
"We stayed up all night and knew they [the fires] were coming close, that night we were watching the news we just knew it was all gone. There was local people telling us it was all gone."
Mandy's grandmother, Beryl McGoverns, was 82 at the time and her home in Kiah was was completely burnt down by the fires.
Toad and Mandy remember walking through Kiah and seeing the devastating debris left of the town hall and church. They said that it was a very difficult moment for the entire family who had a lot of memories of growing up there.
Mandy's parents home was left standing despite being partly damaged by the fires, mainly due to the help of their irrigation systems. Despite the relief that came with a house still standing, Mandy said that her parents were left with survivors guilt as many of their neighbour's homes were completely destroyed.
"Some of their neighbours have nothing, some are still living in make shift houses and don't have a toilet," she said.
During the fires, Toad Heffernan was volunteering as a rural firefighter.
"I've been a rural firefighter for most of my life, probably since I was about 15. It's just part of living in the country.
"We had to protect ourselves and we just knew we had to have a good crack and we weren't really prepared for what came but we had our pumps, bandanas and beers ready.
"It was a bit of a learning curve for most of us, the old guys had seen a big fire in '58 but a lot of people hadn't seen something like that, we were all learning on the day," he said.
Couple offer timely reminder about the importance of preserving family heirlooms before natural disaster strikes
Another thing Toad said he learnt during the fires was the importance of preparing in advance for fires and wanted people to be aware of how easily heirlooms and old family photos could perish.
"I didn't think too much of it before the fires, nobody did really. When the firestorm came through like what happened in Cabargo and Kiah, people weren't really prepared and the memories are just gone," said Toad.
Mandy said that for her parents, every last minute during evacuations was taken up by preparing the house and packing essential items. In the end they did not have time to take photo albums or other sentimental items.
"They didn't take anything, they just grabbed the cat and left. You can't think properly during those time," she said.
For Toad, the fires were a timely reminder of the importance of preparing digital copies in advance, before natural disasters hit.
"Everyone talks about putting sentimental things in a box but sometimes you don't have warning and often there's a lot of things that have been put away, you need to find them and get out of the door.
Digital cloud systems recommended to keep catalogues of sentimental items
Mandy and Toad have started using Memory Safe which allows them to upload photographs of their sentimental items into a cloud-based system.
"It's great for those things you can't really insure but that mean a lot to you.
"I've got a fox whistle and for me it means the world. It came to me for my 25th birthday the day after a mate of mine passed away.
"I didn't really think of it as something I would have taken on the day [of the fires], but now I have a picture of that fox whistle uploaded into Memory Safe.
Mandy said that storing photos of sentimental items gave her peace of mind.
"I know personally that when I was driving to Merimbula [to the evacuation centre with the kids] I thought 'oh my God, I don't have anything! I don't have anything with me from when my children were born.'"
"Anything we can think of now gets uploaded due to what we've been through and what can happen," said Mandy.
Research conducted by Allianz revealed 74 per cent of Australians could not reach their most precious items if they needed to evacuate quickly.
They are now running a promotion whereby 5,000 new and exisiting customers can access Memory Safe for free.
Pictures of old photos, children's artwork or treasured letters can be uploaded into a private collection and can be easily captioned.
Mandy and Toad said their life has gone back to normal after the shows and they have continued to soldier on after the bushfires like much of the community in the Bega Valley Shire.
The have around 400 dairy cows and Mandy now owns her own salon called Salt Body Boutique in Eden.