New Norfolk Neighbourhood Watch

December 2023 Newsletter

Leave early checklist

Most people who die in bushfires are caught in the open, either in their car or on foot, because they have waited too long to leave their property. Consider making a list of the answers to these questions:

  • What will prompt you to go? The trigger might be a very high fire danger rating, or a fire breaking out nearby. Or other family members leaving. Plan to leave early – many hours before the fire reaches your home – to avoid being caught in smoke, the fire, or on a congested road.
  • Where would you go? Where would be your Safe Place? Is there an alternative?
  • How would you get there? Is your car full of fuel and the tyres full of air? Is the car in good working order?
  • What will you take? Don’t forget bottled water, a battery-operated radio/torch and spare batteries, a fire extinguisher that is suitable for cars, medications, first aid kit, mobile phone charger, blankets, toys, phone numbers and personal documents such as your house insurance and car policies.

Monitor your local ABC radio station for current details and warnings. Prepare your property as best you can by leaving hoses attached to taps, blocking drainpipes and gutters with water, and removing flammable items from around the house – blinds, outdoor furniture, door mats, hanging baskets. And let people know you will be evacuating and where you plan to go.

If evacuating by car, it’s worthwhile investing in a basic tool kit, which you can pick up from any automotive parts store. Ensure you have jumper leads, a spare tyre, and a jack. Other handy maintenance items include a tyre pressure gauge, wheel lever, and window cleaner.  Keep containers of spare oil, water, and coolant as well as a couple of old rags or wipes. Ensure you take time to set up your car with items that you may need in an emergency. The best-case scenario is that you never have to use any of them but in the unlikely event that you have an emergency, you will be well prepared!

A torch can be used to signal oncoming motorists in the dark, and consider a hi-vis vest. Be sure to invest in a rechargeable or solar-powered torch with batteries built to handle extreme heat, keeping in mind that solar chargers may not work well in smokey conditions.

Keep a set of reflective hazard cones or triangles that you can place on the side of the road before and after your car, in case you need to stop.

Keep a spare charger and make a habit of putting your phone on charge while you are driving. This ensures your battery remains full in case you are in an emergency where you need to contact others or use navigation tools.

Being prepared for the elements is helpful and some items to consider are a blanket, hat, sunscreen, and rain poncho. Stashing a small amount of cash may come in handy in case you need it for a purchase, and it wouldn’t hurt to keep some drinkable water stored in a BPA-free container, non-perishable food items, and even toilet paper.

More can be found on the Tasmanian Fire Service Website:

New Norfolk Neighbourhood Watch encourages residents to report all criminal activity and suspicious behaviour to police or Crimestoppers. Our facebook page is very popular and is a public space for residents to relay information or inform others of things happening around the town, including criminal or suspicious activity.  If you see someone prowling around your home, please report it to Police and let residents know by posting on our facebook page. Send us a private fb message if you prefer. Or you can email us on


IN AN Emergency… Call 000.  If a crime has already happened, call 131 444.  For anonymous reporting call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

We wish everyone a very happy and safe Christmas and New Year!

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