All Victorians should be prepared and ready to act if bushfire threatens. But some people may need help to prepare their fire plan and to leave early. They could be a relative or a member of your community who may need help leaving early on a fire risk day.
Do you need help leaving early?
If you live in a high-risk bushfire area, then on a Severe, Extreme or Code Red rated day your only safe option could be to leave early – especially if you're frail or elderly, have a physical disability, or have problems thinking clearly or acting quickly under stress.
If this sounds like you, then ask your family, friends or neighbours to help you plan how to leave early, using a copy of the Red Cross Bushfires: preparing to leave early plan.
How to complete the Red Cross plan
The Red Cross 'Bushfires: Preparing to leave early' plan will help you make decisions about when you will leave, where you will go, how you will get there, and when you will return.
Discuss the ideas in the plan with family, friends, neighbours and anyone else in your support network. If you need help filling out the plan, ask one of these people or anyone else who could assist, such as a carer. The plan can be printed and filled out by hand, or filled out directly from your computer.
You can also request a copy by ringing the VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226 or via National Relay Service on 1800 555 677.
A two page Leaving Early Contacts and Bushfire Plan provides a quick checklist for anyone needing assistance to leave early during an emergency - such as a bushfire. The contacts list also provides a handy reference for preparing for any type of emergency.
Could you help someone in your community?
Helping elderly people plan to leave early on fire risk days
If you know someone who needs assistance planning to leave early – especially someone living alone in an isolated high risk bushfire area – then talk to them about how you could help.
Not everyone has a local support network, so think about people in your community who may need help with their preparations.