Emergency kits should contain what you need to help survive a bushfire, what to take with you to safety, and what you may need for up to four days following a fire.
Pack your emergency kit before the fire season so it’s ready when you need it. Every household will need different items in their emergency kit and you won't know exactly what should be in yours until you've written your Bushfire Survival Plan.
The best emergency kit is one that can be used for all hazards - not just bushfires.
- Pack an emergency kit with essential items and keep it in a handy place.
- Scan important documents and photos onto a USB stick/external drive.
- Buy a battery-operated radio, powerful torch and extra batteries.
- Save important contact numbers in your phone. Include family, friends and the Information Hotline 1800 362 361. Have a spare mobile phone that you keep fully charged for emergencies.
- Set aside protective clothing (long sleeved, made from natural material such as cotton, sturdy footwear/leather boots and a P2 mask) for each member of the family.
- Put woollen blankets in your car in case you get caught on the road.
- Mark your main routes, including backup routes and petrol stations, on hard copy maps.
- Make arrangements with anyone you plan to visit or stay with when you leave early.
- Talk to neighbours or nearby friends about ways you can help each other.
- Don't forget pets. Make sure your pet containers are with your emergency kit or packed in the car.
Pack your emergency kit
Pack the following items in your emergency kit to take with you:
- Important items:
- driver's licence/photo ID
- insurance papers
- medical prescriptions
- USB stick or file containing important files/papers
- Medicines and first aid kit
- Mobile phone and charger
- Battery powered radio, torch and spare batteries
- Overnight bag with change of clothes, toiletries, sanitary supplies
- Adequate amount of water and food
- 100% woollen blankets
- Contact information for: doctor, council, power company.
If you have pets, add the following items to your emergency kit:
- suitable transport carriers or leash
- pet food and drinking water
- any medications/vet contact details
- a familiar item (toy, bed, treats) to help reduce stress.
Stay and defend
If you are staying to defend your home or unable to leave in time, you'll need:
- protective clothing for everyone staying
- buckets and mops
- battery powered radio, torch and spare batteries
- fire extinguishers
- first-aid kit
- hoses and spare hose fittings
- knapsack sprayer
- woollen blanket for each person
- gutter bungs
- drinking water
- food (especially high energy foods), drinks, dried fruit and nuts.
Despite the heat, it is important you do not wear summer clothes during a fire. In the event of fire everyone involved should wear:
- 100% natural fabrics such as cotton, denim or wool - synthetics can melt or burn
- a long sleeved shirt made from thick cotton or wool to prevent burns to the upper body and arms
- a pair of heavy cotton pants or overalls to shield your legs
- sturdy leather work boots and a pair of wool socks to prevent burns to the feet
- a wide brimmed hat to stop embers from dropping on your head or down your back
- work gloves to protect your hands
- a pair of goggles to safeguard our eyes against smoke, embers and debris in the air
- a P2 mask to cover your nose and mouth to protect you from inhaling smoke and embers.
Remember to drink water regularly to avoid dehydration.