You think it will never happen to you, until it does. Sadly, we’ve seen much devastation over the past week as bush fires have burnt across New South Wales and Queensland.
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The fires have taken homes and lives, and left many more injured or displaced. Fortunately, Port Stephens has been lucky so far but that doesn’t mean we can get complacent.
If you haven’t already, now is the time to make a bush fire survival plan so you’ll know what to do if an emergency arises. The Rural Fire Service website has a simple guide to help you rfs.nsw.gov.au
It’s important to plan now for what you’ll do. Sit down and talk with your family about when to leave, what to take and what to do with animals. Don’t leave it to the last minute, as emergencies can happen with little or no warning.
There are simple things you can do around your home to prepare it for a bush fire, like keeping the grass low, the gutters clear and having a cleared area around your home. These things should be done well beforehand, as leaving it to the last minute is too late.
If an emergency should arise, we have developed the Port Stephens Emergency Dashboard, which gives you real-time updates on road closures, power outages, weather warnings and evacuation centres. You can find it at portstephens.nsw.gov.au
Most of all, remember to look out for one another. Share information with your family, friends, neighbours and those who might need some help. Port Stephens is an amazing community and we all need to come together in times of emergency to keep each other safe.