Our Committee Members Rebecca and Caroline both attended the Yarra Ranges Tourism Bushfire Workshop last week. Thank you to YRT and the CFA for conducting the morning, it was an extremely informative session. We would recommend you attend if there is another one planned in the future.
We’ve listed below some points to help you prepare your business to be fire ready.
• Risk Management – Surviving & protecting life is the priority
Develop an emergency plan. Write it down and practice it.
Ask the questions –
1. What needs to be done?
2. Who is going to do it?
3. Where are the guests / clients going to go?
4. What equipment do we have already and what do we need?
5. What is your procedure for high-risk / extreme weather days?
Check your insurance policy –
Would your home or business be covered in the event of a bushfire or natural disaster? (Check your T&C’s)
Prepare your home & business before the peak fire danger period (January-March for the Yarra Valley) –
1. Mow the grass often and keep it green
2. Clean up the bark, branches & dry leaves from around the property, especially after storms and windy conditions
3. Remove dead bushes and keep vegetation away from external walls
4. Take doormats inside and remove umbrellas & furniture from the deck
Know your local area and where to get advice –
1. Download the Vic Emergency App
2. Points of last resort are located at Queens Park, RACV Club Healesville, Yarra Glen Racecourse & Warburton Recreation Reserve (Check Yarra Ranges website for more info)
3. Listen to your local radio station for updates, ABC 774 or Sky News
In the event of a bushfire in your area –
1. Dress appropriately in natural fibres (long pants & shirt), leather gloves, closed shoes, cotton broad brim hat
2. Pack a torch, basic first aid kit, 2lt water, wool blanket, portable radio, mobile phone and charger (keep in the car, not the boot)
3. Don’t expect a formal warning, emergency apps can take 15-20 min to report incidents. Be alert – What do you smell? What is the wind doing now and throughout the day? Can you see smoke?
4. Advise guests to move to a safe open location (carpark or large winery)
5. Be aware that animals will be fleeing the fire as well
6. Stay off the roads to allow emergency services clear access
7. Stay up to date with road closures