WHILE most families across NSW planned to beat today’s extreme temperatures with ice blocks, sunscreen, iced water bottles, hats and taking a dip in the family pool; my mother decided to implement a bushfire evacuation plan.
We live in the Hawkesbury and our family home backs on to Wollemi National Park, which includes more than 5000 square kilometres of canyons, cliffs, rivers and untapped forests.
We haven’t had a bushfire close to our home since the 2002 Christmas Day bushfires in Kurrajong.
So my mother, who was worried about today’s 40-plus degrees Celsius conditions, decided to hold a family meeting about the possibility of a bushfire in our area.
In the meeting, which consisted of a number of rules and threats, she proposed a list of evacuation routes and implemented a designated meeting place in case of road closures.
Her fire plan for Tuesday’s catastrophic conditions included the following:
1. If there is a fire, do not come home whatsoever.
2. Do not go home to get the cats and dogs. The neighbours, who are at their home during the day, will take them to safety.
3. If you are home and you are told to evacuate, just leave.
4. Meet at the local club if there is a bushfire. Once again do not attempt to go home if there is a fire.
As well as the fire evacuation plan, my family decided to take memorable items like photo albums and jewellery with them to work and some were put inside the cement water tank for safe keeping from a possible bush fire.
Did you family have a plan for today's heatwave?