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City of Ballarat Community Magazine December 2011
Keep Safe This Summer
With the tragic memories of the Black Saturday fires and the Queensland
floods still fresh in the nation’s mind, City of Ballarat encourages Ballarat
families to prepare for emergency situations this summer.
The City of Ballarat is committed to fire safety and prevention in order to reduce
the incidence of fires in the Ballarat region, and is responsible for managing
the risk of fire on its land. Council also educates and support residents in
their responsibility for managing fire risk on private property.
PREPARING YOUR PROPERTY
All residential properties and vacant land must be prepared for the fire
danger period. Simple precautions now may protect lives and property in
the tragic event of a fire.
Take the following steps to reduce fire hazards and avoid receiving a Council
Fire Hazard Notice:
Cut all grass so that it is no higher than 100mm
Remove flammable material around the home
Clean out home gutters
Reduce fine fuels on your property. Fine fuels include long dry grass,
fallen leaves and twigs
Clear away dead undergrowth and fallen branches
Move wood piles away from your home
Remove noxious and environmental weeds on your property
Clearly number your property so emergency services can find it easily
Ensure easy access to appliances for fire fighters. The CFA requires a
clearance area four metres wide and four metres high, and this should
be considered in the construction of fire breaks and driveways.
The Municipal Fire Prevention Plan is available at Council’s website:
NEIGHBOURHOOD SAFER PLACES
Neighbourhood Safer Places (NSPs) are a place of last resort. They may
offer minimal safety during the passage of a bushfire and are intended to
be used by people whose primary bushfire plans have failed.
Neighbourhood Safer Places are not community fire refuges or emergency relief
centres, and do not guarantee the survival of those who assemble there. NSPs
have been assessed by the CFA to meet important criteria to ensure that the
designated place can provide some protection from immediate risk of direct
fire attack, but not necessarily from other risks, such as flying embers.
The City of Ballarat municipality has five Neighbourhood Safer Places:
Ballarat CBD, Sturt St,
Canadian Lakes Boulevard
Buninyong CBD (between Learmonth, Inglis, and Forest & Warrenheip
Invermay Recreation Reserve, Muscatel Road
Midvale Shopping Centre Car Park, Main Road
A copy of the NSP Plan can be downloaded from Council’s website:
NATURAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Severe storms are the most frequently occurring natural hazards. To minimise
the effects of storms, maintain the trees around your property. Also keep
gutters and downpipes in good order and free of debris, as most electrical
problems occur as a result of flooded ceilings.
When a storm warning is broadcast
Storm warnings are advised via ABC radio, news, the internet and the Bureau
of Meteorology. If a storm warning is issued for the Ballarat area, residents
are encouraged to take the following actions:
Listen to ABC and/or local radio for information and advice
Make contact with neighbours to ensure they are appropriately prepared
Bring children and pets indoors
Stay clear of windows
Move outdoor furniture to a safe location such as the garage
Park your car undercover and away from trees
Keep an emergency kit in your car
Put your family emergency kit in a known and accessible location
While the storm is passing through stay indoors if possible. If travelling
when a storm strikes, slow down and turn on the car headlights. Do not
drive into waters of unknown depth. Stay alert, watch for hazards on the
road, such as powerlines, and where possible pull over to the side of the
road in a clear safe area.
In the event of flooding from heavy rain and watercourses:
Listen to ABC Radio and/or your local radio station for warning and advice
Plan which indoor items you will raise or empty if water threatens your
Prepare to move furniture, vehicles, outdoor equipment, garbage,
chemicals and poisons to higher locations
If necessary, turn off power, water and gas supplies.
For flood information, visit the SES website at www.ses.vic.gov.au
If your property is damaged by flood, call the SES at 132 500.
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