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Being prepared is the key to making good decisions during an emergency. We have compiled resources to assist emergency preparedness for yourself, your children, business, pets, property, and others.

Community consultation for Bushland Park image

Being prepared is the key to making good decisions during an emergency. We have compiled resources to assist emergency preparedness for yourself, your children, business, pets, property, and others. Every step you take towards preparedness, no matter how small, contributes to the safety and well-being of everyone. Every step helps everyone.

The information and advice below are of a general nature, for more comprehensive information, follow the links on this page.

This page contains content about bushfires. If you find this distressing and need support, please seek assistance using the resources linked immediately below.

Current preparedness opportunities within Adelaide Hills

Event Red Cross Youth in Emergencies Development Program

Ways to stay informed during a bushfire

Emergency numbers

In an emergency always call 000 for expert medical assistance.

For assistance in a mental health emergency, contact the Mental Health Triage Service. Telephone 13 14 65 available 24 hours, seven days a week.

Fire Danger Season and Ratings

The Fire Danger Season generally runs from November to April (check the CFS website for exact dates each year). During the season, restrictions are placed on lighting fires and other activities to reduce the chance of bushfires starting.

The Australian Fire Danger Rating System (AFDRS) has four levels: moderate, high, extreme, and catastrophic. It helps you know how dangerous a bushfire could be and what to do to stay safe.

On some days, there's 'no rating' meaning no special action is needed. This makes fires less likely to threaten the community.

Fire danger ratings graphic

Ready steps for your household

Preparing for bushfires in high-risk areas like the Adelaide Hills is essential. A well-prepared plan is crucial for both practical and psychological reasons. It reduces anxiety by providing clarity on actions during a threat, alleviates stress during emergencies, and ensures the whole family is ready.

The Australian Red Cross and Country Fire Service (CFS) have several comprehensive resources to understand the steps to take to protect your home and family.

Ready steps for you

Psychological preparation is just as important as preparing your property for bushfire. Research indicates that individuals are more likely to stick to a household plan if they have psychologically prepared for a natural disaster. The ability to manage emotions during an emergency can be lifesaving for both you and others, including children under your care.

The Australian Psychological Society has great information on how to psychological prepare for natural disasters.

Ready steps for children and young people

Involving children in the planning process can alleviate their fears and give them a sense of control. Open and honest conversations about preparedness can reassure them and enhance their ability to cope with a disaster. Children can actively contribute to emergency plans and gain valuable skills, aiding both immediate response and post-event recovery. This involvement also helps them develop essential bushfire emergency knowledge, a crucial life skill for those in bushfire-prone areas like the Adelaide Hills.

Below, you'll find resources to support you and your child in preparing for the bushfire season.

Videos for children to assist preparedness

Below are some videos of children talking about bushfire preparedness and what to do in an emergency. You may find them useful to assist conversations with children.

Ready steps for your community

Working together as a community supports disaster preparedness by combining resources, sharing vital information, and providing mutual assistance, ultimately increasing preparedness and resilience.

Your community can actively engage in several available programs. See below for further information.

Information for tenants and landlords

Section 105F of the SA Fire and Emergency Services Act 2005 says “Owners of private land must take reasonable steps to prevent or inhibit the spread of fire through the land.”

It’s common for landlords to manage jobs such as pruning, clearing over hanging branches and cleaning gutters, while tenants complete smaller jobs around the garden like mowing, watering and weeding. However, Individual tenancy agreements do vary.

It’s a good idea to check with your landlord or property manager to make sure you have a clear agreement in place and each party understand their responsibilities for property preparation.

Ready steps for people at risk

In life we all experience differing levels of of vulnerability and resilience, however there are some people within our community that have differing abilities to prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies.

Leaving early is always considered the safest plan. Research has shown that community members implementing a 'leaving early plan' greatly reduce the likelihood of serious injury or death. Leaving early means you avoid panic and the risk of becoming trapped by a bushfire.

The information below provides resources specifically for people who consider themselves to be at greater risk of injury or death in the event of a bushfire.

Easy English and other languages

The Country Fire Service (CFS) has designed a quick and easy three step plan to get you bushfire ready. It is simple to create and includes recommended information that you can include in your own plan.

The CFS have also developed information brochures on bushfire planning and preparedness in 19 different languages. The brochures are designed for those within the community where English is a second language.

The Bushfire Safety Information booklet is also available in easy English so they are user friendly and easy to understand.

Disability Inclusive Emergency Preparedness

CFA fire safety e-learning modules for people at higher risk

To access these modules, you will need to create a CFA account. Simply click the link below and follow the prompts on the Non-CFA Member login tab.

The video below shows how the online modules helped Rebekah and her daughter. Rebekah cared for her teenage daughter who lives with a chronic neurological disorder.

Ready steps for your business

Your business is the basis of your financial security and the future security of your family. It may also play a valuable role in your community employing local people and providing essential services.

A written plan may save lives by helping you to stay focused and respond in the best possible way during an emergency. Preparation may also help to minimise the loss of profits and get a business back up and running more quickly after the threat of fire has passed.

Ready steps for farmers

Farmers have access to a range of resources to prepare for bushfires and minimise risk. These include sector-specific guidance for grain, wine, horticulture, and livestock producers, as well as resources for managing animals during emergencies. In addition, the "Readiness for your Business" section offers valuable tools that can benefit farmers in their preparedness efforts.

Ready steps for pets

The care and transport of pets and livestock before, during and after a fire is something that should be considered in bushfire planning and practice, to ensure they are managed well in an event.

The CFS website contains useful resources on how to plan for the management of pets and livestock as part of your bushfire preparedness.

The RSPCA provides a number of useful resources including a video that may be useful to help children understand how they can be involved in planning for their pets. The RSPCA's three essential steps to creating your Pet Emergency Plan are:

  1. Include pets in your emergency survival plan
  2. Prepare your Pet Emergency Kit
  3. Practice your emergency survival plan.

Ready steps for your property

Keeping your home and property well prepared throughout the year is an essential component of bushfire preparedness.

There are local businesses in the Council area that can provide the following services:

  • Slashing
  • Mowing
  • Brushcutting

To find them try entering the type of service into your search engine, followed by ‘Adelaide Hills’.

For tips on preparing your property, we have included some information below.

Preparing your garden

As well as preparing your house and outbuildings, home gardens can be planned and managed to decrease the risk of bushfires, through selection of lower flammability plants, thoughtful garden design and an understanding of fire behaviour.

Gardening can also be a great way to involve children in your household's bushfire preparedness activities and to share the benefits of spending time together in nature.

Burning and fire guidelines


Considering a Private Bushfire Shelter?

All private bushfire shelters require building and development approval and concurrence from the Building Technical Panel which is a committee of the State Planning Commission (SCP).

There are currently no accredited or “pre-approved” products (or designs) available in South Australia relating to prefabricated private bushfire shelters. Every shelter must be assessed and approved on a case-by-case basis.

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