Home' Moorabool Matters : December 2009 Contents 08 MOORABOOL MATTERS - COMMUNITY NEWSLETTER DECEMBER 2009
BANDING TOGETHER TO PREPARE
There is strength in number s. It is a common saying and when facing
the seasonal menace that comes from living in one of the most fire-
prone par ts of the world, it is a key factor.
The CFA's Community Fireguard Groups, offer that strength in
numbers. It is a fire-safety program that helps people work together
to plan for the threat of fire and to manage their own fire risk. It brings
a sense of community togetherness when dealing with the threat of
bushfire each fire season.
It also allows you to fine-tune and practice your fire plan. Par ticipants
in the group come together and, with advice from a Fireguard
Facilitator and other fire exper ts, build a comprehensive per sonal,
household or workplace fire plan.
The Community Fireguard program covers fire behaviour, personal
sur vival (to stay or leave), the design of a personal and fireguard
group action plan, preparation and proper ty readiness and fire
protection equipment to bushfire standards.
Tammy Morgan has been co-ordinating the Community Fireguard
group in Long Gully Rd, Greendale for the past 12 year s.
It is a strong group, with an active membership. Which is ver y
for tunate, considering the Greendale - Blackwood area is one of the
areas nominated as a high fire risk across Victoria for this summer.
The group member s stay in close contact with each other ; working
together to ensure each household has actively prepared their
proper ty and is ready for the next fire season.
"It is good to realise that you are not alone in preparing for summer,"
"One of the main benefits of being in a Fireguard group comes from
knowing that you and the community around you are well-informed
and prepared for the fire season."
Tammy also explained that being involved with Fireguard enabled
residents to have a better under standing of bushfire behaviour and
gain a wealth of knowledge in how to prepare for each season.
She said having a written and practised plan, whether that be to stay
and defend or leave early, provided reassurance to each resident if a
fire threatened the area.
"It provides you with the information tools to know what to do and
reduces the level of panic if a fire comes through," she said.
"However, experience of last summer has shown that each fire risk
day is to be evaluated separately and there are definitely some days
where weather patterns and forest conditions may determine that
the only cour se of action is to evacuate ."
Although it is now too late in the season to conduct burning on your
proper ty without a permit, there are many activities still available to
reduce the threat of fire to your proper ty.
These include cleaning the gutters, raking up leaves and bark, keeping
the area around the house tidy, removing the wood supply from the
house, removing cane furniture from under verandas, keeping grassed
areas around the house mowed and green if possible and storing gas
bottles away from the house.
All residence should practice their fire plan and be aware of the
The Long Gully Rd Fireguard group gets together at least once a year
before the fire season. An e-mail is also sent to all members of the
group to update their contact details prior to the fire danger.
Tammy said it was impor tant to know what the individual fire plans
were and if anything had changed from season to season.
Each member of the Long Gully Rd Fireguard group has a laminated
sheet of useful information and tips in the event of a fire. It lists the
contact details of all member s of the group and the collective street
plan of action in responding to a fire . It is colour-coded to indicate
which residents are evacuating or staying for easy reading in an
emergency. It has all emergency contact numbers, listening set and
emergency radio frequencies, websites and indicates proper ties
where water is accessible for CFA fire fighting purposes.
Tammy reinforced the key message for this season, which is to
evacuate early if evacuating.
Per sonal safety is number one. If your plan is to leave the house, then
leave fir st thing in the morning of a fire danger day.
Remember it is never too late to get involved in a Fireguard group
and prepare a proper ty for the fire season. She said more groups
were needed throughout the Shire to raise bushfire awareness.
If anyone is looking to be involved in Community Fireguard or to star t
their own group, they can contact Jay Gardiner -- CFA Regional
Facilitator on 0427 510 678.
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