It’s all up to you

Picture this. You’re a parent in your mid-30s relaxing at home with your three young children on a scorching summer day.
Your partner is away with work and you and the kids are lounging around inside watching videos with the curtains drawn tight against the 40C heat.
The air-conditioner is keeping things cool enough which is just as well because the roaring north wind is causing havoc out there. Stay inside and ride it out.
At some stage during the morning you hear a siren … it’s probably the police, or perhaps it was on the video.
A while later you hear another.
You catch a whiff of smoke. That’s odd.
You part the curtains and it IS smoke. You can see it. It’s a fire!
You race outside to have a proper look and the air is choking. You can see a red glow on the next ridge pumping thick, acrid smoke into the air. It’s a raging bushfire and it’s coming your way!
Quick, get the kids. They’re panicking, you’re panicking but trying not to show it but the youngest is now crying hysterically.
Quick, get into the car and let’s get out of here. Oh, shit. I’d better grab some things – the photos, the important paperwork, the laptop, grandma’s old clock.
What about the dog … where’s the cat?
C’mon kids, hurry, hurry, into the car.
Forget all that stuff. No Samantha, we haven’t got time to get the goldfish.
But just at that moment a giant limb falls from one of the majestic gums near the driveway and blocks your exit. You’re trapped.
Quick, kids, back inside.
The smoke is now really thick and you can hear a frightening roar.
The inferno is coming.
Get the hoses. Oh, shit, shit, shit. You should fill the gutters. Where are the bungs?
Should I fill the bath?
Orange embers begin to fall around the house and the leaves in the thrashing trees are bursting into flames. The doormat catches on fire.
The kids are now all screaming, the noise is deafening and it sounds like a freight train is coming through the front door.
No one is coming to save you.
You didn’t have a plan. You weren’t prepared and will possibly pay the ultimate price.
This summer the message is simple.
Clean up your property, make a bushfire action plan and stay aware.
You must assume the CFS will not be there to help. You are on your own.