Stay safe everyone

Discussion in 'Living Room' started by Lizzie, 11th Nov, 2019.

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  1. Lizzie

    Lizzie Well-Known Member

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    Bags packed - horses labelled - gutters will be filled later (and topped in the morning) - escape routes plotted - dogs/cat food bundled - documents and inherited jewellery ready to grab ... and now it feels so strange just waiting for, what we hope, is a non-event

    We've got friends further up the NSW coast that fortunately were bypassed - on both sides - at least they're now "safe"

    Sydney facing 'catastrophic' fire danger for first time since ratings began
     
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  2. Hetty

    Hetty Well-Known Member

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    Here’s a list of closed public & independent schools, and there’s a link in the link to Catholic schools School safety | Public schools

    Looks like my son’s day care will be closed tomorrow despite there being zero bush in the area.

    Good luck everyone near bush. Defending your home isn’t worth dying for, leave early.
     
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  3. Islay

    Islay Well-Known Member

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    It has been a big few days for some of mine fighting fires and defending their homes around Port Macquarie. Tomorrow its closer to home - Newcastle and the Hunter for us. Personally we should be ok although we live next to a large coastal reserve. We have many family and friends enacting their fire plans. A non event would be very welcome @Lizzie.
     
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  4. Lizzie

    Lizzie Well-Known Member

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    Only have to look at Canberra 10-odd years back to know you don't have to be near bush to be in danger.

    We will definitely leave early if threatened - just checked the insurance was proper coverage (which it was but doesn't hurt to check). If it's not "threatening" then all the irrigation hoses are now connected to spray hoses - the fire fighting tank and kit on the back of the ute is primed and ready to go ... and don't forget to take the neighbours dog!
     
  5. Hetty

    Hetty Well-Known Member

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    Yeah... it’s much closer to river than any sort of bush. My school is close and it hasn’t been closed, none of the schools in my area have been. The department thinks thousands of kids are safe but day care don’t. Ah well. I don’t think there’s much risk but one of us can take the day off.
     
  6. The Prestige

    The Prestige Well-Known Member

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    My son's daycare is closed tomorrow. No where near the bush. Seems a bit over the top and a knee jerk reaction.
     
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  7. Hetty

    Hetty Well-Known Member

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    They know we have to pay whether they’re open or not, it’s a bit crap really.
     
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  8. Lizzie

    Lizzie Well-Known Member

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    Also have to think about where the parents and teachers have to come from, go to, if there's a fire ... it's not just about the centre or school

    Fine to get self centred and grumpy ... until something happens which can occurr in minutes
     
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  9. The Prestige

    The Prestige Well-Known Member

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    @Lizzie That is true. But why does the centre have to close? If people think they will not get home in the event of an emergency. They are the ones that should have the day off.
     
  10. Lizzie

    Lizzie Well-Known Member

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    What if that's half the careers?
     
  11. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Founder Staff Member

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    You have a school with hundreds students. A fire starts nearby where there was previously none. What happens next?

    What's going to happen when a large number of people try to get to a single location all at once (to pick up their kids) while emergency services vehicles are also trying to do their job. Many of the areas affected have limited access too, which just makes things worse.

    How do parents who are at work a few hours drive away get back to retrieve their kids in time? What happens if they can't get back at all due to road closures?

    What do the staff at the school do when they have dozens or hundreds of panicked kids to evacuate - especially if their parents can't get to them?

    What if this is a childcare centre and there are young kids and babies?

    There will be many cases where there turn out to be no fires and everyone would have been safe and people will wonder what all the fuss is about and complain about the inconvenience.

    But stop and consider what would happen if a fire DID break out nearby. Would you want your kids at risk? Should emergency service personnel put their own lives at risk to save you the inconvenience?

    On a hot and dry day with 50kph+ winds, the fire will move very quickly - they are predicting embers being blown up to 30km from the fire front due to the strong winds - which means that the fire can spread very quickly and unexpectedly.

    I think caution is warranted.
     
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  12. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Founder Staff Member

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    An interesting consequence of this policy of closing schools was pointed out by my wife, whose job is disaster preparedness for NSW Health - she's having a very busy week!

    With many schools closed, those kids will need supervision - which means that many people who would normally be at work will need to stay home.

    In some cases, those people would normally be staffing health facilities or other key services - so the knock-on effect of closing schools is that many other facilities could be running short staffed, which could have other consequences too.
     
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  13. hammer

    hammer Well-Known Member

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    Maybe...but the argument is that with more people at home, less people will get hurt should fertilizer hit oscillator = less need of key services. Or maybe it's a compromise worth making? I dunno, but the people making these calls have spent decades serving the community and studying previous situations and other countries' responses. It will be "best practice".

    It's not just the fires that are the problem. Smoke is a big deal too. If people stay home there is a less chance of being affected.

    The emergency services don't shut the state down lightly. Things really have to be "that bad" in order to do so.
     
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  14. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Founder Staff Member

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    I'm not sure that logic fits - making people stay home probably does not decrease the need for essential services beyond what it would be in a normal situation.

    Either way, I was not criticising the policy of closing schools - I think it is justified for the reasons I mentioned in my previous post - I was simply making an observation that there are consequences and this is something my wife has had to deal with as part of their planning.

    I actually think the rest of the world looks to Australia for learning "best practice" in dealing with catastrophic fire conditions! I know we have sent our local experts over to other countries to advise on numerous occasions. It's one thing we have a lot of experience with as a country.
     
  15. geoffw

    geoffw Moderator Staff Member

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    I was there when the big fires hit in 2003. It was an incredibly scary time. I was up all night listening to the radio. Previously, I had been at work (it was a Saturday) for some hours, and could get no information as to what was going on. Apparently AM radio was the only medium broadcasting local up to date information - and that doesn't work well around a whole heap of computers. There was nothing on the internet. I hadn't realised that parts of that suburb were burning as I was working. I saw smoke but didn't realise it was so close.

    But I digress. I live 20km away from where the fire was burning, We were getting small live embers, though nothing dangerous. Places within 10km were burnt from embers. My workplace was about 2km away, and it lost some of a building, whereas other buildings around were intact. It may have been that public buildings were more susceptible having iron roofs - all the houses in that area had tiled roofs. The smoke was around for two weeks afterward, the smell for a lot longer.

    It was an incredibly scary time as it happened. I was sup most of the night listening to the radio, and there was inaccurate information about where the fires were burning.
     
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  16. The Prestige

    The Prestige Well-Known Member

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    It does set an interesting precedent.
     
  17. SatayKing

    SatayKing Well-Known Member

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    Certainly was interesting times for sure.

    Where to go at that time?

    Go North and it's through bush - and fires.
    Go South and it's through bush - and fires.
    Go East and it's through bush - and fires.
    Go West - it's into the fire.

    The majority of the properties destroyed were surrounded by, or close to, bush. Duffy, Chapman, Kambah, Curtin. At the place I had then, the hills near me (less than 500 meters away) were burning and creeping down the side of it. Seems the thing which saved the area was the sea breeze which came in around 3 pm and turned the fire back on itself.

    Much later flying in from the South Coast it was pretty evident the path of the fires was up the "green" spaces between suburbs.

    After I was having a talk with a bush fire researcher. He was out near Chapman and said he knew it was time to get the heck out when a burning branch landed near him and he recognised it would have come from a copse of trees about 100 meters away. An unusual occupation.
     
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  18. Lizzie

    Lizzie Well-Known Member

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    That's why we have 3 escape routes plotted west/north/east - but can't plan "where to go" because if it turns to cactus then everyone's in the same boat, so the plan is to go "wherever safe".

    Those who die in cars are often trapped with only one way out. :(
     
  19. Paul@PFI

    [email protected] Tax Accounting + SMSF Business Plus Member

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    The issues with parents, fire vehicles and evacs dont mix well and a plan to move a large body of people isnt practical and may further expose them to harm. Many schools that border bushland now have a policy to close when a threat level is catastrophic to avoid all concern. Its not even just threats of direct fire or nearby fire. Ember attack issues can spread a fire rapidly and without notice as occurred in Springwood that year.

    Remembering the Blue Mountains bushfires one year on
     
  20. Stoffo

    Stoffo Well-Known Member

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    "Stay safe everyone" is a good title @Lizzie
    It promotes people to actually think, and hopefully plan for the worst (when often they didn't previously).

    A big shout out to the RFS/CFA and other volunteers
    They put themselves in harms way to help others, all the while knowing that their own home and family may be at risk, that takes a special kind of person

    Disaster management has come a long way, and will continue to require refining over time.
    I remember seeing the flames crest the hill at the farm in Bellbrae on ash Wednesday and having to flee for our lives, I witnessed the sheer devestation of Black Saturday soon after when helping to transport stock feed, I hope to NEVER witness events like these again.

    People often only see an inconvenience, if a school had of burnt today people would say that was lucky it was closed !
     
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