All of Victoria is at risk of bushfire. Whether you live in the bush, on a farm, near the coast or in a suburban area surrounded by grassland, or if you plan to travel in these areas, you could be affected by a bush, grass or scrub fire this summer.
In an emergency, always dial '000' for Police, Ambulance or Fire.
Fires can start and move quickly. It is essential to be aware of what is happening in your area.
It is critical for your safety to use more than one source for warnings.
On high-risk days, monitor the conditions around you.
Also get the most up to date information through the CFA website, the FireReady App, CFA's social media channels such as facebook and twitter, local radio or the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on 1800 240 667.
Be prepared to leave early and plan where you are going.
Pack a relocation kit including a back-up battery radio, medication, water and a torch.
Every Victorian needs to look at their home and surroundings, assess if you could be at risk of a bushfire and develop a written Bushfire Survival Plan. This details how you will prepare yourself and your home, and helps you decide what to do if threatened by a bushfire.
Survival must be your main priority. The only sure way to survive a bushfire is to be well away from the threat. All bush and grass fires have the potential to claim lives and destroy property.
There are a number of changes to the way we prepare for and respond to bushfires this summer.
New fire danger ratings have been introduced that will detail when fire conditions are severe, extreme or catastrophic (code red). All Victorians need to know what these ratings mean for them and how days of higher risk will affect their Bushfire Survival Plan.
CFA has also developed a new household self-assessment tool that will help you determine if your house has enough defendable space around it. This should be the first step in preparing your Bushfire Survival Plan as it will help you decide if staying to defend during a bushfire is a viable and safe option for you.
Even if you don't plan to stay to defend, there are steps you can take now to prepare your home for the summer fire season and give it the best chance of surviving a bushfire. Cleaning out gutters, mowing the lawn, managing vegetation and removing or reducing the number of items that can catch fire within 30m of your house will all help.
It's important to remember that fire doesn't only threaten people who live in dense bush. Suburban homes were destroyed by bushfire last summer. Embers can travel kilometres ahead of a bush, grass or scrub fire, igniting leaves in gutters, vegetation, fences and other items around the home.
This supplement includes preliminary information on how you can take action now to start preparing for the coming fire season. You will find more detailed information from the Country Fire Authority website, Department of Sustainability and Environment website or phone the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on 1800 240 667.