Australians pull together so well during and after tragedies.
Why can’t we pull together BEFORE tragedies? Together gain the knowledge and do the work that can prevent them?
Neighbour helping neighbour.
Without the stimulus of drama.
It has been shown time and again that preparation and the knowledge of what to do during bushfire, when to do it and why, has saved lives, homes, and animals.
We have mandatory driving knowledge and a test of that knowledge to prevent chaos and carnage on the roads. We have mandatory quarantine regulations and immunisation to prevent the chaos and carnage of epidemics. In the bush, we have chaos and carnage every summer. We need compulsions and penalties to prevent this, too.
Some people do it really hard, burst their guts preparing their properties and learning all the can about safety factors. Others do nothing, endangering neighbours as well as themselves.
If your house burns, this does not just affect you and your family. Every burning house sends off embers that ignite other houses: the cause of a large proportion of in-town houses losses. House losses in bushfires are not only personal tragedies, they increase the homeless waiting-list. The state’s public housing stock is already in crisis.
Every house lost to bushfire adds to this. When bushfire victims are given priority, others are pushed down the list.
As well as building houses to specified, bushfire-protective regulations, those who live in bushfire-vulnerable areas must be compelled to prepare the land surrounding them in ways that reduce ember penetration and flame reach. AND TO LEARN SAFE REACTION TO BUSHFIRES.
A great fuss was made before the introduction of compulsory mass TB Xrays, car seat belts and drink driving penalties. TB was wiped out. The road toll was reduced.
- We need to teach bushfire safety in schools
- We need to develop bushfire safety training programs for workplaces, unions, migrant centres …..
- We need grants and low interest loans to be made available to low income residents of bushfire prone areas before the bushfire season, to help them prepare their homes for bushfire safety.
- We must have specific funding for municipal councils to less able householders put their properties in a safe state before summer.
- We need to require country and urban fringe householders to pass a bushfire safety ‘licence-to-live-there’ test.
- Brochures and radio bites are not enough. We need to give bushfire authorities permission to alert the public to accurate, helpful publications other than their own (as they used to do), so that personal fire plans are made with the most knowledge possible
For preview, see THE COMPLETE BUSHFIRE SAFETY BOOK – acclaimed by all bushfire authorities, and/or its ready reference ESSENTIAL BUSHFIRE SAFETY TIPS -CFA endorsed: ‘A book that certainly could help save lives within the community’.