Queenslanders are being urged to take advantage of the state’s revamped Bushfire Survival Plan in the wake of alarming new findings that reveal most are unprepared to deal with a bushfire.
According to the survey, 71 percent of people who live within 500m of bushland have not written, updated or reviewed their personal survival plan in the past six months; 54 percent have not decided whether to leave early or to defend their home if a bushfire approaches; and 46 percent have not talked about bushfire preparedness with their household in the past six months.
“These are concerning results because a Bushfire Survival Plan is one of the most effective tools people can have when confronted by a fire,” said Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Commissioner, Greg Leach.
“It asks people to consider actions they will take to survive a bushfire, which is why all households should have one.”
Queensland will shortly enter its bushfire season
“Queensland is on the doorstep of bushfire season, which means we are about to enter the period when the risk of fires starting and spreading is at its peak,” Leach said.
He was speaking as the state launched its new online Bushfire Survival Plan and awareness campaign to simplify the process for residents to prepare themselves.
Leach said QFES was taking significant steps to increase the public’s awareness and appreciation of a Bushfire Survival Plan.
“[The] campaign includes on-the-ground engagement with the community, backed up by state-wide multi-platform advertising,” he explained.
“People can expect to see or hear information about Bushfire Survival Plans on television, radio, billboards and social media because we want everyone to be aware of and have access to this life-saving resource.
Be proactive as state has thousands of bushfires
“Our frontline personnel will also be promoting the importance of a survival plan at community events and information days.”
Leach said recent history demonstrated the need for Queenslanders to proactively prepare themselves and loved ones for bushfire season.
“In the past three seasons alone, Queensland recorded more than 21,000 bushfires state-wide,” he said. “However, our research revealed almost half of all Queenslanders who lived near bushland had not recently talked about bushfire preparedness within their household.
“While QFES has been working hard to mitigate risks in the lead-up to bushfire season, we cannot do it alone.”