Thursday 15/10/15

Summer is already making its presence felt, and with summer comes the bushfire season. If you live in an inner city apartment block, bushfires aren’t a big problem for you. But if you live within a couple of blocks of bushland, you need to prepare your home as soon as possible.

It is too late to prepare for a bushfire when the bushfire is already burning its way toward your home. You need to prepare today. Below is a short list of simple chores you need to complete to help you keep your home safe during the bushfire season:

  • Inspect your garden hoses. Are they still in good condition? If not, replace them. You may need them to put out a fire on your property.
  • Make sure your hoses are long enough to reach every point on your property (including the roof).
  • Roll your hoses up as soon as you’ve finished using them. This ensures they are ready for use during an emergency.
  • Mow your lawn and keep it short during bushfire season.
  • Weed and maintain your garden (don’t forget to remove dead leaves and other debris).
  • If you have trees or shrubs near your home, prune them back.
  • Remove any twigs and leaves from your gutters.
  • Make a conscious effort to keep your lawn free from leaves, twigs and other debris. These are fuel for fire.
  • Repair or replace any missing or damaged roof tiles. Missing or damaged roof tiles let airborne embers into your roof space.

The jobs on this checklist will take time to complete, but you are investing in your own safety. Set a time this weekend and get them done. For the sake of a little yard work, you are eliminating a lot of potential problems around your home.

The above information is the bare basics to help keep you and your family safe this summer. For more detailed information on planning for bushfire season (and live updates of current bushfires), please visit the NSW Rural Fire Service webpage .

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Thursday 08/10/15

Winter is over and summer is already making its presence felt. As the hotter weather makes an impact on your daily life you have to make a conscious effort to ensure you have your water bottle with you whenever you leave the house.

Whether you like water or not, it is the only liquid you should have in your water bottle. Sure, cordial and sports drinks might taste better, but they aren’t as versatile as water. You might be thinking “How can water be versatile? It’s just water”.

Many years ago, when I was an active member of the volunteer bushfire brigade, the captain drummed into us “Water bottles are only for water”. The five reasons he gave stuck with me since that day:

  • To flush foreign bodies out of your eyes.
  • To flush debris out of wounds.
  • To pour over burns.
  • To moisten your bandanna to use as an air filter in a bushfire.
  • To moisten your bandanna to put around your neck to help you cool down.

None of the tasks listed above can be achieved with sugary drinks. You don’t need too much imagination to understand just how unpleasant it could be if you tried.

If you still think drinking water isn’t for you; you need to change your way of thinking. Your body was designed to drink water not food dye, chemicals and sugar. Trust me; your kidneys will thank you.

If you found the information in tonight’s blog useful, please share it with your friends and family on social media.

Thursday 01/10/15

Many members of society have become aggressive and selfish. Instead of looking out for others, they focus their energies on their petty wants and desires, like spoilt children. We see this far too often in the number of road-rage incidents and Coward Punch attacks that feature in the nightly news. (Yes, they are Coward Punches, not king hits. Only a gutless coward stalks and attacks an unaware victim from behind). Unfortunately, these same cowards take their dangerous behaviour onto the road, looking for victims harass and assault.

I’m sure there have been times in your life where you have gotten bad vibes from someone. Not from anything specific they’ve said or done, but just a bad feeling.  The same thing can happen in a vehicle, you can get a bad feeling about another driver on the road. If you get this feeling, slow down a little and let them pass. Don’t do something stupid and make them a permanent part of your life. The legal ramifications for a momentary lapse of judgement can be detrimental. Don’t pull over and confront the other driver; that situation can escalate from loud accusations to violence very quickly. Also, don’t drive straight home. You don’t want the other driver to find out where you live.

I have been followed a few times over the years, but fortunately it has only been in areas I am familiar with. Sometimes it was just coincidence, other times it was stupid kids harassing random drivers. Once or twice it was a genuine. Because I knew the area I was in, I took the next three left hand turns, bringing me back onto the road I was originally driving on. It was statistically unlikely the car behind me was still following due to coincidence. After I’d established that I was being followed, I drove toward the local police station, making sure I avoided any intersection where I’d have to stop (such as traffic lights). Once my tail realised where we were headed, they quickly lost interest in their game.

If the other driver is driving aggressively or dangerously, you’ll need your passenger to call the police (000 in Australia) and tell them what is happening, including a description of the driver, their vehicle and the license plate (if you regularly travel alone, you should consider installing a hands-free kit in your car). Tell the police where you are and tell them you need assistance immediately. If you know the location of the police station, drive there. If the other driver stops following you, that is a good result. If not, park in front of the police station. Do not get out and confront the other driver. You don’t know if they are drunk, on drugs, or have violent psychological issues. Normal people don’t drive across town so they can fight a complete stranger in front of a police station.

Unless you are known by the other driver, it is unlikely they will follow you again. However; you must be vigilant on the way home, and over the next couple of days it’s better to be safe than sorry. Another important thing to remember is ALWAYS lock your doors. This prevents bag-snatchers from grabbing your valuables when you’re stopped at traffic lights. It also stops thugs from climbing into your vehicle, or opening your door and dragging you into the traffic.

If you found the information in tonight’s blog useful, please share it with your friends and family on social media.