WITH warmer weather on our doorstep and Black Summer in our review, the New South Wales Rural Fire Service (RFS) is asking the community to start preparing for bushfire season and get involved in their ‘Get Ready Weekend,’ on September 19 and 20.
The Get Ready Weekend will give people the opportunity to engage with local fire brigades over Facebook and online meetings, to learn about managing bush fire risks in their area.
Shane Fitzsimmons, Commissioner of Resilience NSW, encouraged people to have a conversation around being prepared for various hazards because “being aware is everyone’s responsibility”.
“Each year, communities across NSW may experience bushfires, home fires, floods, storms, heatwaves, power outages and other emergencies…this year alone has been one of unparalleled emergencies,” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.
“Communities across NSW were first impacted by drought, bushfire, then storm and flood and now pandemic, all in quick succession,” he said.
“Our emergency service organisations do an incredible job keeping us safe, but they can only do so much,” he said.
Upper Hunter Shire Mayor Maurice Collison also stressed the importance of bushfire preparedness and asked shire residents to follow their local RFS brigade’s Facebook page to start getting ready.
“The 2019/20 bushfire season was the most devastating bushfire season in our State’s history,” Cr Collison said.
“It was a stark reminder of the danger of fire and of the importance of being prepared and having a plan,” he said.
“In the lead up to our next fire season, with the previous one in the not so distant past and the impacts still being felt across NSW, communities are understandably keen to know more about getting ready,” he said.
Get Ready in six simple steps
1. Know your risk – think about the area you’re in and the types of disasters that could affect you;
2. Plan now for what you will do – sit down and talk with your family and plan for what you will do if a disaster affects your area;
3. Get your home ready – prepare your home by doing general home maintenance and checking your insurance coverage;
4. Be aware – find out how to prepare, what to do if there is a disaster in your area and connect with NSW emergency services to stay informed;
5. Look out for each other – share information with your family, friends, neighbours and those who may need assistance.
6. Download the EMERGENCY+ app to help you determine your location so you can better communicate your location to emergency service organisations.
If you are planning to visit one of the fire brigades for the Get Ready Weekend, please ensure to maintain social distancing rules and follow volunteer instructions, as there will be a visitation capacity of 13 people at any given time.
All attendees will be required to register via QR code and those who are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms are asked to not attend the event and to go and get tested.
Fire brigades open for visitation
Cassilis Fire Station
Where: 11 Scott Street, Cassilis NSW
When: September 20, between 10:00am and 4:00pm
Wingen Fire Station
Where: Abbottsfo Road Park Road, Wingen NSW
When: September 20, between 09:00am and 10:00am