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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Continuing Fire Preparations

Today we went through our "On The Day Action List" . This is our individual activity lists. Who will do what and when. What will trigger our donning fire fighting gear, how individual animals will handled, blocking gutter down pipes and water filling, packing vehicles for departure,  setting up buckets and hoses to handle spot fires etc.

Firstly we roughed out a list with individual names against each item and then we talked through the items and finally we rewrote our own list and placed them in plastic envelopes and into our individual fire fighting day packs. These day packs have water, gloves, eye protection, first aid kit, towel to wet and wrap around the face and a hat.

The large departure backpack, Fire Fighting clothing and day pack all ready to go

Our fire fighting gear consists of cotton underwear, cotton T shirt, cotton high visibility long sleeve shirt (recycled industrial work shirt), cotton long pants, wool socks and steel cap boots.

Now that all the pots and garden beds and individual trees have been watered we started watering sections of lawn around the house and the chicken run to promote some green grass and reduce the effect of spotting. Probably a waste of time and water but makes us feel better.

There is still quite a list of little jobs to be completed to be totally ready and these should be completed tomorrow.

One important task completed today was the location of our bolt hole. Our plan is to evacuate our property rather than stay and defend and we are geared for that prospect. However, if circumstances arise which prevent us from making a safe an early departure then we have an emergency area in which we can huddle with the animals and hopefully survive until the fire passes.

This is a small space beside the concrete water tank (into which dam water is pumped before use on the garden and orchard). It has the steel and iron clad seedling raising bench on the other side and a concrete block wall between the bench and tank which also serves as the back wall to the kitchen compost bins which are brick walled. The fourth side is the cave which is metal clad. There is a secure steel ring on the tank to which we can tie the dogs and enough room to fit a metal cage for the cats and the two house chooks.

In the bolt hole is a water sprinkler on a short stand to cover keep us wet under some wool blankets. On the tank is another sprinkler to keep the climbing Rose from igniting and on the other side of the tank will be the petrol generator under a table and beside the garden  pressure pump with another sprinkler on the table.

On the pressure pump all the outlets will be turned off except a single tap on the outlet line and only the hoses contained in this restricted area serving the sprinklers will be in action and all wetted down with a continuous spray. Down at the dam both pumps will be running to top up the tank until they succumb to lack of fuel or fire.

I've been working on repairing a 12 volt water pump in case the generator fails. This will take water from a cleaning outlet in the concrete tank which is located within  the bolt hole. It is quite a small pump which only need to run  for a short time in an emergency. And we have a number of high quality durable batteries salvaged from an Uninterruptible Power Supply system used in the computer industry. If it can be repaired it should be good enough to spray water in this confined area in enough volume to save the day.

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