The events of the past week, with severe bushfires in a number of areas across the Scenic Rim have highlighted the need for everyone - no matter where they live - to have a 'what if' plan in place.
But before they form a what if plan, people need to prepare a risk management plan. As outlined on the ruralfire.qld.gov.au website, this includes reducing vegetation, clearing leaves and other debris from your home's roof and gutters, pointing LPG cylinder relief valves away from the house, conducting maintenance checks on pumps, generators and water systems, displaying a prominent house or lot number and ensuring there is adequate access to your property for fire trucks in case of an emergency.
Sadly, with limited rainfall and continuing hot dry conditions, we can expect a long bushfire season, so it is important for people to be diligent in their preparations to reduce, as far as possible, the risks associated with this.
It's also important to have a plan in place in case the worst happens. Think about where you would go in an emergency and plan your route and what to take. If a bushfire develops, make the necessary preparations well ahead of time so that you are not caught in a panic situation if you have to leave your property.
Make sure you keep up-to-date with the latest information by referring to the Disaster Dashboard http://disasterdashboard.scenicrim.qld.gov.au/ which assists in effectively communicating reliable, timely information about potential emergencies impacting the Scenic Rim region.
The council maintains close communication with QFES to understand the levels of fire risk and, in times of high fire danger, collaborates with QFES to provide back-up water tanker supplies for fire fighting.
I am sure that, like me, you are grateful for the QFES team and members of the Rural Fire Brigade, who work to protect our community, and the SES volunteers who do so much in these emergency situations.
On a lighter note, I would also like to thank the many volunteers across the Scenic Rim who work so hard to make our local shows such a success, most recently the Beaudesert Show at the weekend and the Canungra Show which celebrated its 81st year last month. - Cr Virginia West