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Posted on Nov 12, 2009 in LIVING

Bushfires: Prepare.Act.Survive


It is your responsibility to prepare yourself, your family and your home for the threat of bushfire. You need to act decisively in accordance with your Bushfire Survival Plan when bushfires threaten. Your survival depends on your preparations, and the decisions you make.


Prepare a Bushfire Survival Plan and discuss it with your family. One of the most important decisions you need to make to protect you and your family is will you ‘Leave Early’ or ‘Stay and Defend’ a well prepared property. Regardless of your decision, preparation is the key to survival.

  • If you are going to leave – prepare for where you are going to go, how you are going to get there and what you are going to take.
  • If you are going to stay, you must have a plan for how you are going to survive and where you will shelter. Know what equipment you need.
  • Have a contingency plan – know where your nearest Neighbourhood Safer Place is.
  • You need to be both mentally and physically prepared to carry out your survival plan.
  • Prepare your home and property to survive a fire front and ensure you have adequate levels of insurance.


Fires can threaten suddenly and without warning so you must be prepared to act without waiting for a warning.

  • Don’t ‘wait and see’. Put your preparations into action.
  • Know what the fire danger rating is for your area.
  • Watch for signs of fire, especially smoke and flames.
  • If you receive a Bushfire Alert, take it seriously and act promptly.
  • Look and listen for information on TV, radio, the internet, mobile phones and neighbours.
  • Only consider staying and defending if you and your property are currently well prepared.


Your life and your family’s lives are always your first priority during bushfires. The safest option is always to be away from a fire, but recognise that a warning may not always be possible.

  • Know the location of your nearest Neighbourhood Safer Place or other locations that may provide you with greater protection.
  • Being involved in a fire will be one of the most traumatic experiences of your life.

On days of Catastrophic fire danger rating leaving is the ONLY option to ensure you and your families’ survival and on days of Extreme fire danger rating leaving is the safest option.

Failure to take action can result in death or injury to you or your family members.

Printable factsheet

Prepare.Act.Survive factsheet (PDF, 556KB)

For information contact your local fire station or visit or

Revised 23 October 2009.

In an Emergency Call Triple Zero (000)

A collaboration of the NSW Fire Brigades, NSW Rural Fire Service, ACT Fire Brigade and ACT Rural Fire Service


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