With the catastrophic bush fires in New South Wales and Queensland, The Department of Health has issued advice for providers, summarised below.
Providers are advised to be prepared and are able to ensure the safety of people in their care and their staff. There are a number of steps you can take to make sure you’re ready for emergency situations.
- Monitor local media and regularly check for updates from your state’s rural fire service (links below)
- Make sure you have an updated daily list of all residents who are on site
- If you think evacuation is a possibility, prepare ‘go bags’ for residents, with a change of clothes and essential medications or emergency aids
- Ensure you have an evacuation plan, with arrangements for transportation and alternative accommodation in place. Talk to other service providers to identify potential alternative accommodation
- If evacuation is required, it should be done early. Do not rely on emergency services to assist, as this may not be possible
Fires are unpredictable, and can threaten suddenly and without warning. A Fire Danger Rating of SEVERE and above means fires are likely to be uncontrollable. When fires are deemed SEVERE or above, providers should take warnings seriously and be prepared to act.