Skip to main content
Home > Step 1 - What do I need to do

Step 1 - What do I need to do

Prepare your home – Create a defendable space

Your home is more likely to survive a bushfire if you have prepared it properly. The most important job is to create a defendable space, an area around your home where you have modified the vegetation and removed most flammable material to reduce the fire's radiant heat intensity.

Click Here For More Information >

A: I am Leaving – Leave Early Checklist

Important items to consider before completing your Leave Early Survival Plan:

Click Here For More Information >

  1. Leaving Early is always the safest option
    If you have decided to leave early for a safe place well before a bushfire threatens your home, you should take steps to plan for how and when you are going to leave. It is important to always include a contingency plan, have practiced your timing, have your leave early kit ready, and have included animals in your plan.
  2. When to leave
    What will prompt you to go? The trigger might be a very high fire danger rating or a fire breaking out nearby (consider any animals you may have, more information about planning for your animals can be found here. Plan to leave early, many hours before the fire reaches your home to avoid being caught in smoke, the fire, or on a congested road.
  3. Where to go
    Consider low fire risk areas, such as a nearby town, beach, or an Evacuation Centre (if one has been established). Consider relatives or friends who live in areas that are not close to the bush.
  4. How to get there
    Plan the route you might take, including alternative routes, and avoid driving in areas where fires are burning. If driving, make sure your car has enough fuel for the journey and is mechanically sound. If you are nervous about driving, consider using a taxi or asking a friend to come and pick you up.
  5. What will you take
    You should plan to be away from home for at least 24 hours. If the worst happens and your home is destroyed you should ensure that you have taken with you important documents and other items valuable to you.
    Take cash and credit cards, insurance policies, family albums and other easily carried items of value. Take spare clothes and other items you would normally take on a short trip. Ensure you take sufficient water and food for the trip.
    Ensure that animals are restrained in vehicles, have drinking water, vets information, food, collars etc…
  6. Everyone must have a back up plan, where will you go if it’s too late to leave 
    Experiences of past fires have shown that many people can struggle to make timely decisions about what they will do when bushfire threatens. The threat of bushfire to your home can be highly stressful and may cause anxiety and confusion. This is why it is essential to have a plan to follow, AND a back up plan in case your original plan fails.
    Have you contacted the people in your plan and let them know you have left if family friends are away from your home. This will stop people going to your home/area looking for people. Making someone aware of your plan other then the people living at your house is a good idea.
  7. Before you leave- what can you do so that your house and property has the best chance of surviving
    Consider things like putting outdoor furniture inside, doormats away, fill gutters with water, remove hanging baskets, place wet towels at door ways etc.

Develop Your Leave Early Survival Plan >

B: I am Staying – Stay and Defend Checklist

Important items to consider before completing your Stay and Defend Survival Plan:

Click Here For More Information >

  1. Before the start of the bushfire season, things to prepare
    Your home is more likely to survive a bushfire if you have prepared it properly. The most important job is to create a defendable space, an area around your home where you have modified the vegetation and removed most flammable material to reduce the fire’s radiant heat intensity.
  2. Even though I’m well prepared, I will leave if the fire danger rating is too high
    Unless your home has a defendable space and has been designed and built specifically to withstand a bushfire, you should not plan to defend it if the Fire Danger Rating exceeds 75(extreme)
  3. As the fire approaches
    Be sure to connect garden hoses and prepare your firefighting pump or generator and extinguish any sparks, embers and spot fires burning on or close to your home. A hose or a wet mop is handy for this.
  4. As the fire front arrives
    The coolest place is likely to be on the side of the house furthest from the fire. Don't shelter in a part of the house you cannot easily escape from if your home catches fire, such as the bathroom, which often has windows too small to squeeze through.
  5. Everyone must have a back up plan, where will you go if you have to leave 
    As part of developing a back up plan, do you know if your community has a Nearby Safer Place? Click here for more information about Nearby Safer Places.

Develop Your Stay and Defend Survival Plan >