Around 300 homes throughout Baddaginnie, Goomalibee and Warrenbayne will receive red buckets containing emergency preparation material from members of the CFA and SES on Saturday 24 October 2015.
The campaign will occur just ahead of the fire restrictions to be enforced in the district from 26 October, and after warnings from Emergency Management Victoria of a potentially long and tough fire period.
The red buckets, which will be delivered to households by volunteers, will contain a simple combined CFA and SES emergency plan template which has been devised after collaboration between the Council, the emergency services and community members in rural townships. The plan will encourage residents to plan ahead how they will respond to a fire, flood or other emergency, and the red bucket will provide a strong visual reminder of the need to do so.
The buckets will also contain CFA “Can our trucks access your property?” brochures.
1,700 buckets have been ordered to enable all the other brigades in the Benalla area to roll out this program.
Phil Rees, Captain of the Baddaginnie CFA, said that a Council survey of Baddaginnie and Goomalibee residents notes that very few households had a fire or emergency plan.
“When the buckets are being delivered, the volunteers will ask people to consider if in an emergency they can defend their property or if they will leave early and plan for a pre-determined safe location away from the emergency area,” Mr Rees said.
“We will also ask people to consider any family members who may require extra time or assistance to leave due to a disability or medical condition,” he said.
The Red Bucket Emergency Preparedness Campaign is a result of a partnership between the Council, the CFA, the SES the Baddaginnie Water Cooperative and local businesses Benalla Rural Residential Real Estate and Peter Davis Rural Supplies. It has been organised through the Local People Making Local Solutions project, an initiative funded by Regional Development Victoria and coordinated by the Council. The project aims to build community resilience to prepare for and recover from emergencies.
“The key to protecting life and property during an emergency is being prepared well ahead of time,” said Mayor Cr Justin King.
“This is a very timely campaign as the summer season appears to be descending on us early this year, with little rain in the outlook following on from a dry spring,” he said.
“Although it is only October, people need to start preparing now.
“During the devastating fires last year, no homes and no lives were lost, and a big factor in this is the planning and preparation that people undertook well before the fires were alight.
“The Council has an important role to play in encouraging communities to be prepared and resilient in the face of an emergency, and we are delighted to be part of this important and creative approach to encouraging people to plan ahead.”
Image from left to right: Peter Bailey, CFA Captain Goomalibee, Neil Bromley, CFA Captain Warrenbayne, Alan Marshall, SES Benalla, Greg Dennis, CFA Baddaginnie Goomalibee, Cornelia Selover, CFA Baddaginnie, Marj Campbell, resident, Jan Osmotherly, Benalla Rural City Council, Phil Rees, CFA Captain Baddaginnie