A message from the Dangar Island Rural Fire Brigade
During last year’s fire season, the acrid smoke from the Gospers Mountain “mega fire” was a constant and uncomfortable reminder of the bushfire threat we face in our beautiful bush bound river community. Whilst we are all hoping for a La Niña reprieve from last year's extreme conditions, we will undoubtedly see days, and possibly weeks, of Extreme Fire Risk and Total Fire Bans.
Last year many islanders took advantage of our Dangar Island Rural Fire Brigade information nights to seek advice on their individual circumstances and Bushfire Survival Plans. Community members took great comfort in putting together simple, structured plans to address the following key points.
What to do to prepare your property?
Even if you plan to LEAVE EARLY in an emergency, you should prepare your home NOW. A well prepared home is more easily defended by emergency services if fire does threaten the island.
This is YOUR responsibility.
Have at least 1-2m of cleared area around your home
Trim trees and shrubs that are next to or overhanging your home
Clear all leaf litter & debris from under and around your home
Remove flammable materials (mats, outdoor door furniture, gas bottles, chemicals, paint cans)
Clean out your roof and gutters
Make sure the house can be accessed from all sides
Should I stay or should I go?
You need to decide WELL BEFORE a bushfire threat what you’ll do if one arrives. Identify and agree on your triggers for action. Everyone in the household needs to know the plan and be ready to act. If your plan is to leave, you must LEAVE EARLY, before Brooklyn Rd is closed or the train line is shut.
Anyone with mobility, health issues or small children should LEAVE VERY EARLY
You should LEAVE EARLY if you are not properly equipped and / or your home is not prepared
If your decision is to STAY you must have a detailed plan.
To make your plan use the MyFirePlan resources kits available online or from the Fire Shed.
When to leave?
Download the FiresNearMe app on your smart phone or tablet www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/apps.
Set a 20km watch zone.
Understand the alert levels.
Heed any alerts you receive. Some fires start & spread quickly.
If you get a Bush Fire Alert, take it seriously.
Waiting too long to act may put you at risk.
Staying informed during an emergency.
To stay in touch with what's happening on island and in the surrounding areas during an emergency, watch for messages on the Brigade’s Facebook page
check your FiresNearMe app, read any notices on the Fire Shed blackboard, listen to the ABC, check on your neighbours.
Is the river the safest place to be during an emergency?
We are often asked whether the best plan is to get onto your boat and head into the river? The answer is 'probably no'. If the island is surrounded by fire the river will be smoky and visibility will be limited. You can easily lose your bearings. Emergency vehicles on the water may also be traveling fast and an accident could occur.
What to take?
Even if you plan to STAY in an emergency, you should prepare your ‘go bag’. Don’t forget to plan for your pet’s transport and food requirements. Your go bag should include:
Portable battery-operated radio
First aid kit with manual
Important documents (passport, birth certificate, marriage certificate, insurance policy)
Other valuables and photos
Emergency contact numbers
Cash, ATM cards, credit cards
Medications, toiletries and sanitary supplies
Special requirements for infants, elderly, injured, disabled
Mobile phone and charger
Change of clothes for everyone
Make your plan and discuss it!
If you don’t have a Bushfire Survival Plan, prepare one this weekend by:
Download and complete the online MyFirePlan https://www.myfireplan.com.au/
Emailing the Dangar Island Brigade team for a MyFirePlan kit and to set up a meeting to discuss your specific circumstances [Dangar Island RFB . CEO @ gmail . com]
Dropping into the Fire Shed after 9.30am on the first Sunday of each month to collect a MyFirePlan kit and speak to a Brigade member directly.
The NEW RFS Alert levels:
Yellow – Advice. A fire has started. There is no immediate danger. Stay up to date in case the situation changes.
Orange – Watch & Act. Heightened level of threat. Conditions are changing. If you plan to LEAVE EARLY then NOW is the time.
Red – Emergency. You may be in danger. You must act immediately. Any delay now puts your life at risk. If you plan to leave now, make sure Brooklyn Rd is open or the trains are still running. They may be closed.
As RFS volunteers we are proud and honoured to serve the community. We are also acutely aware of how quickly a bushfire threat can arise or change. We need your assistance in being PREPARED so that in the event of an emergency all community members can safely execute their own plans.