Be prepared for summer

RESIDENTS and visitors are being urged to be prepared this bushfire season.

Council's Chief Executive Officer Ian Nicholls said residents need to prepare their bushfire plan now.

“It is vitally important that residents don’t become complacent and think they don’t need to be prepared,” he said.

“We live in one of the most fire-prone places in the world – an up to date Bushfire Survival Plan could save lives.”

While the region has experienced wet weather over the past 12 months, it only takes two weeks of hot, dry and windy weather to create dangerous fire conditions.

Due to favourable growing conditions across Victoria, there is an above-average risk for grassfires for the 2011/2012 fire season.

Council has prepared Township Protection Plans and designated 11 Neighbourhood Safer Places (NSP) in towns across the Alpine Shire.

Mr Nicholls reminded residents that NSPs are places of last resort only, and do not replace a well prepared Bushfire Survival Plan.

“These areas are places of last resort only – that means if there is no other option but to seek shelter somewhere in a town, the designated NSP is the place to go,” he said.

“There is no guarantee that these places will withstand a bushfire or ember attack – it is imperative that every resident and holiday maker is properly prepared.”

Preparing for the fire season:

• You need a well thought out Bushfire Survival Plan – research shows that 75% of people living in high risk areas do not have a detailed plan

• When preparing your plan consider the needs of children, the elderly, people with special needs or disability, pets and livestock

• Bushfires don’t arrive at convenient times – consider what you will do if fire threatens on a work day, during school holidays or when you are way from home

• Review your plan every year.

For more information visit the CFA website, call the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on 1800 240 667, or talk to your local CFA brigade.

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