THE Rural Fire Service has joined forces with Red Cross Emergency Services to spread the message of bush fire preparedness.
The Red Cross REDiPlan speakers have been holding joint community meetings with the RFS to talk about bush fire survival plans.
The next meeting for people who live in outlying vulnerable areas within Kalaru, Tathra and surrounding communities will be on Wednesday at the Countryside Caravan Park, Kalaru starting at 7pm, refreshments provided.
Recently more than 40 people packed the meeting room at the Bemboka RFS to hear the service’s community safety officer Marty Webster talk about what you can do to stay safe in a bush fire emergency.
Mr Webster said that the RFS wanted to impress upon people the need to put a bush fire survival plan into place well before property owners went into the summer.
“Now is the time,” he said.
“Take the time, sit down with the family and talk through your plan now.”
Mr Webster said that property owners needed to be organised in regard to how they planned to defend their property and what equipment they needed.
He also said people living in bush fire prone zones needed to prepare evacuation kits and know when they would leave if faced with a day of dangerous conditions, or what he called a “trigger point”.
“You need to have a trigger point, and that point is completely dependent on how easy it is to access or exit your property and it needs to be discussed with your family well ahead of time.
“If you are concerned in any way that you would be trapped, get out early.”
Mr Webster took questions from community members, most regarding what the RFS deemed to be a safe trigger point.
Again Mr Webster pointed out that was dependant on the property involved and encouraged landholders to make the trigger point central to their bush fire survival plan.
The RFS was followed by two speakers from REDiPlan, Loretta Fella and Helen Williamson.
Ms Fella talked about the support they offer in the wake of a bush fire disaster, but also gave a strong message about preparedness.
Mr Webster said it was great to be able to give these community talks in conjunction with REDiPlan.
“We realised that we were selling similar messages about preparing for disaster,” he said.
“It’s very hard to get people out once for a presentation, let only twice, so by doing this together we are really capturing their attention.
“We’ve done 12 now at different places in the Valley, from Bermagui to Towamba, so it’s great community engagement.
“Hopefully the message is starting to get out – be prepared early.”