Rob Smyth

Friday, 12 June 2009

Bushfire House Survival Meter

This week I purchased a 'House Survival Meter' produced by CSIRO. Really cheap (less than $20) and it is a bit of an eye opener. If this of any interest you, just phone the company given on the site and you will have it tomorrow or the next day. Just do it!

I wonder if one was sent one to every home in 'rural' and 'bushland residential' Australia if it would raise community awareness of risk. I recon it would.

BTW, the meter gives our home a 30% probability of survival if attended and has changed my plans. Hmmm ...


Duncan Bayne said...

Shiny. Will have to get one of these.

Interesting though that they don't stipulate what type of fire threat is involved - at least as far as I can see?

I mean, surely you'd have better odds of your house surviving ember attack or grass fire than you would of a raging crown fire? Or is the point of the meter to determine which of those fire types is likely given your environment?

Rob Smyth said...

True, but how do you know which you are going to face?

My thinking here has changed in the last month due to new information from Dr Keven Tolhurst findings from Ash Saturday (see Age article Anatomy of an unstoppable firestorm). He said that Ash Satruday was a one in 100 year event but given global warming it may now be a one in 20 year event.

Our plan has changed. If the forecast temp is for 40+ (Mount Danendong) we will leave prior to 9am. Otherwise we will stay and defend, but we are now planning for a fire passover. Big change for us, today I've been 'modifying garden beds' and I'm extending our EWSS to cover all three defensible zones.

Duncan Bayne said...

That was what I suspected from your post - that there is no way of knowing in advance.

Interesting to see they're still calling it 'global warming' here in Australia - most likely because it is actually getting warmer here. Elsewhere in the world they've taken to calling it 'climate change' on account of many places getting colder as a result of shifting weather patterns.

Personally, I don't think that climate change has much to do with humans, but regardless of the cause it's a sobering thought: what if the climatic conditions we've been living for the last few centuries have been uncharacteristically benign?

May prove to be quite challenging for people - like us Australians - living in harsh climates to start with. I've been reading a book I bought recently about native Australian bush foods; I wonder if we're going to wind up becoming more reliant upon native (i.e. climate-compatible) crops as time goes by ...