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Bushfire recovery and preparedness fact sheet
As we move further into summer and the fire danger continues to escalate, please consider your personal safety during this difficult bushfire season. Refer to your local Rural Fire Service reports and local radio broadcasts in the first instance for any immediate threats.
If you are an Australian pig producer that has already been affected by the current bushfires, our thoughts are with you and your families, as they are with everyone who has been affected.
To minimise the impact of the bushfires on you, your family, your animals and property, we encourage you to take preparatory actions to keep yourself, and the people, animals, and property around you from further danger. In the unfortunate event you are impacted, you should also have a recovery plan which will include the welfare of you, your staff and your animals.
If you have been affected by the bushfires:
- Please contact APL. We understand this is going to be low on your priority list, but if you are able to let us know your situation, we can keep you updated as relevant information comes through, and we can share situational information with the state and federal governments as well as other emergency and recovery organisations.
- Consider talking to someone and encourage your families and staff to do the same:
Lifeline Australia 13 11 14
Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636
Aussie Helpers 0488 807 266 (text service)
During this bushfire period, if you are working in a smoky or fire-affected workplace, we suggest communicating safe working practices to staff, including:
- Ensure buildings are structurally sound.
- Ensure you and your staff have access to and are using P2 masks and eye protection.
- If pigs are in sheds, try to use ventilation and shed controls to minimise the impact of smoke on pigs.
- Drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
If you are an Australian pig producer that has not been affected by the bushfires, ensure you are as prepared as you can be. Actions to consider include:
- Know what you will do with your pigs.
- Go through the planning resources provided by your local/state fire service and understand how they apply to you.
- Keep an eye on your state emergency services maps and apps, listen to the news and radio so that you will know if there are fires threatening your area, and know which roads are safe to use if you and your staff need to evacuate.
- Ensure any fire bells/sirens/warning alarms are operational.
- Familiarise yourself with the farm’s emergency/evacuation procedures and run a bushfire drill as this will identify things that need to be considered or clarified.
- Encourage staff to carry mobile phones on site so they can receive alerts, and are easily contactable in the event of an emergency/evacuation.
- Remove/trim any long grass and weeds from around buildings, and ensure bales of hay or other roughage are moved away from buildings. Tidy and trim outdoor/paddock areas.
- Ensure roads in/out of the site are clear in case you need to evacuate.
- Ensure any firefighting/fire extinguishing equipment is easy to access and ready to use in case you need to defend your property. Similarly, ensure you and your staff are familiar with how to use the equipment and that they use personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Ensure you have a water supply independent of the mains water that can be used. Similarly, ensure water supply points are clearly marked in case emergency services need to access them.
- Consider ploughing firebreaks around buildings and outdoor/paddock areas, and/or contact your local fire service to see whether a controlled burn can be conducted to reduce fire fuel on or around your site.
Other things to consider:
- At what point will you and your staff leave?
- If you are a piggery with a single driveway/road in and out, consider how you will evacuate if that driveway/road becomes obstructed by fire or debris.
- If evacuation is not an option, where on-site will you seek shelter?
- The impact a power outage may have – do you have a generator or other power source in place to ensure ventilation controls, heat lamps/mats, electronic/automated feeders, etc, can continue to operate?
- If fire blocks roads in the immediate areas, this may impact the availability of feed, the ability to move pigs, and the ability of you and/or your staff to access the site. Is there anything you can do to minimise this impact.
- Removing potential hazards like trees/branches over buildings, carparks, and/or roads, stacks of haybales/bedding materials, gas/fuels tanks, etc.
- If fire immediately threatens, consider hosing down the areas surrounding buildings, the walls and roof of the buildings, and turn on sprinklers inside the sheds/shelters.
For more information:
- Get the latest key contacts and information relevant to your area, including fodder assistance and livestock disposal, from the FarmHub website
- Download a print-friendly factsheet with the above information
- Read about Safeguarding your stock before and after a natural disaster on the Farm Biosecurity website
- Alister Oulton is handling all fire-related matters at APL. You are welcome to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0427 423 869.
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Australian Pork Limited
The producer owned organisation supporting and promoting the Australian pork industry. Australian Pork Limited (APL) is caring for the future of Australian pork.