Get Ready Challenge: Week 4 - Home evaluation
View this email in your browser

Hi <<First Name>>

Five weeks of emails! Hasn't time flown past. Well done for all your hard work so far. 




This week we're staying inside the house and are going to pack a box of things you might need during an emergency, which we've given the creative name Emergency Box.

We also have ideas for what to pack in your personal Grab Bag, a list of useful tools for staying to defend your home, and we'll consider your furry and feathered family members (and your pets too!).


TASK 1: Build an Emergency Box

Every house needs an emergency box: simple items you'll need if you have to evacuate or if you lose services (water or electricity) to your home.

First: find a large plastic storage box. Even an old suitcase will do. Now let's get to work...

Your emergency box should contain:

  • Battery operated radio
  • Battery operated Torch
  • Spare Batteries
  • First Aid Kit with manual
  • Combination pocket knife/bottle & can opener
  • Candles and waterproof matches
  • Woollen blankets
  • List (written or printed) of important contact numbers - see task 2
  • Important documents – Passports, ID, Insurance documents. Place them in waterproof bags.

*USB battery bank for phone or tablet charging is a great idea

Next: Write the 'birdthday' of your Emergency Box on it and in your calendar so you have an annual reminder to check that all your gear is in working order and safe to use. Don't forget to replace anything you use as soon as you can.

Storing your box: Make sure this box is easy to access and that everyone knows where it is. It will see you through any emergency, fires, storms or snow - look after it and it will look after you.


TASK 2: Ring-ring... ring-ring...

Build an important numbers list to put into your emergency box. Include who you will call when you leave and who to call for information.

Here is a list of useful numbers that we prepared earlier. Download it and make it yours! (Download)

TIP: Use a Call Tree

Call Trees are a quick and easy way to get a message out: ask a friend or relative to call a couple of people to spread your message, such as to let everyone know that you are ok. You might be too busy to make multiple calls or to answer incoming calls and this will take the pressure off leaving you to focus on what you really need to be doing. It can also take the pressure off an overloaded phone network in an emergency area.


Your personal grab bag

Each member of your family should have their own personal grab bag. It can be helpful to ease the stress of the situation to involve even young kids in choosing what they take. Letting them choose a cherished book or toy will give them a bit more security and a better understanding of what is happening.

  • Mobile phone and charger – stay in contact with family and find updates.
  • Cash and ATM cards – enough to cover a meal or two for the family or petrol for the car.
  • Medications and any scripts you have.
  • Toiletries.
  • Change of clothes and underwear.
  • Drinking water bottles (3L per person per day) – Staying hydrated is very important!
  • Muesli bars and fruit cups - Easy to eat, on the go snacks with a long shelf life.
  • Something to read, something to occupy the kids. Colouring books don’t need batteries!
  • Baby food, nappies etc. for the littlest ones.
  • Certificates and resumes. These dates and details are hard to track down otherwise.
  • Back-up hard drive containing photos, scans of documents.
  • Consider saving photos and scans of important documents to an SD card to be kept off site or in a fire proof safe.
  • Photo booklets of the family- so you can talk about happy times and also so they can show people what you look like if you get separated.
  • Medals or family heirlooms- those few small things that are irreplaceable.

TASK 3: Time Attack

Gather the household. We're going to see how long it will take you to fill your personal Grab Bags with everything you need. There's nothing like a bit of competition to get the little kids (and big kids) involved. See who remembers everything, see who gets the fastest time. It's good practice for the real deal.

Then try and smash your record. Don’t forget the undies!

Pets are family too

Pets are often forgotten and left to the last minute. Plan ahead for them too. Not all emergency shelters can accommodate animals so if it is safe to do so, take them to a friend or relatives' place well ahead of the threat.

If you are staying home or it's too late to evacuate contain them in one room of the house ensuring it is cool and easy to clean, with water and bedding. The laundry or bathroom is a good choice.

Your pet grab bag should contain:
  • Lead / Carry box
  • Bedding and favourite toy
  • Food and water with bowls
  • Medications
A familiar smelling blanket or bed will help ease anxiety.

Make sure they are microchipped and wear a tag with your contact number on it.

For more information download the RFS Fire Safety for your Pets fact sheet.



Defender tools

If you need to defend, you will need these tools:

  • Cotton Hairy Mop
  • Metal buckets and tubs
  • Spare hose (bring it inside while the fire front passes through)
  • Ladder
  • Metal rake and shovel
  • Protective Clothing. (Remember week 2?)
  • Lots of drinking water and healthy snacks
  • Phone and backup battery. Keep looking for updates and let people know how you are going
  • Drinking water (3L per person, per day)
  • Large water supply with petrol pump if possible. You cannot rely on mains water pressure during emergencies.

Remember: Nothing is more important than your safety. Look after yourself.


Upcoming events

Fire Preparedness for Tenants, 7 September in Katoomba. Find out more

Emergency Preparedness for Parents or Carers of Children with a Disability, 14 September in Lawson. Find out more

Get Ready Weekend is coming! Follow #GetReadyWeekend

RFS Brigades and other organisations all over the mountains will be hosting open days and events over the first half of September. Keep an eye out for your local brigade.

We will be at Leura First Sunday Markets on the 4th of September.


You've made it to the bottom!

Next week:
Plan B
In our final week of the Six Week Challenge we're addressing that age old problem of things  not going exactly to plan. Time for Plan B.

Questions? Feedback?
We'd love to hear from you!

Send us an email or a 
Facebook message.

We are also following the hashtags #GetFireReady and #6WeekChallenge on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Share with a friend - they can catch up on our website

Please share this with a friend or neighbour and encourage them to catch up on our website

Forward this email to a friend

Copyright © 2016 Katoomba Leura RFS, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp