Emergency kits :: CFS

Emergency kits

Emergency kits consist of all the things you will need to perform the actions in your Bushfire Survival Plan. You won't know exactly what should be in your kit until your preparation work is done and your plan is written. Emergency kits should be prepared before the fire season.

Preparing kits in advance of a fire threat means you have everything you need to hand should you need to leave in a hurry, or all of the clothing and equipment you need to stay and defend.

The best emergency kit is one that can be used for all hazards - not just bushfires.

A well prepared kit also means you'll know where to find your torch next time the power fails...

relocation kitThere are three types of kits you could consider:

  • Bushfire Survival Kit  contains everything you need around your home, for example, the clothes you will wear and the tools needed to prepare your home.
    This kit is needed if you are going to stay and defend your property, and most of its contents could also be used if you plan to leave your home early.
    Keep in mind that even if you intend to leave early, you may be caught at home - a Bushfire Survival Kit will have items you need to implement a back-up plan.
  • Relocation Kit contains all the things of personal and practical value that you want to relocate to a safe place.
  • Recovery Kit contains the things you will need to survive in reasonable comfort in the 24 to 48 hours after a bushfire, until normal community services start again.

Bushfire Survival Kit

A survival kit contains everything you need around your home, for example, the clothes you will wear and the tools needed to prepare your home.

This kit is needed if you are going to stay and defend your property, and most of its contents could also be used if you plan to leave your home early.

Bear in mind that even if you intend to leave early, you may be caught at home - a Bushfire Survival Kit will have items you need to implement a back-up plan.

Practising your Bushfire Survival Plan will help you identify the things you need for your survival kit. For example, to fill your gutters with water you will need gutter bungs, a ladder and a hose. Suggested kit contents are outlined below, but you need to refine this list for your own purposes. Your survival kit should be prepared well before the fire season and stored in a safe and accessible location. Any important documents or precious items should be put into fireproof containers.

The survival kit should include:

  • protective clothing for the whole family (more details below)
  • buckets and mops
  • drinking water
  • mobile phone charger
  • woollen blanket for each person
  • torch
  • fire extinguishers
  • battery-operated radio
  • first-aid kit
  • spare batteries for torch and radio
  • hoses and spare hose fittings
  • knapsack sprayer
  • shovel
  • ladder
  • towels
  • medications
  • gutter bungs

Protective Clothing

Despite the heat, it is important you do not wear summer clothes during a fire.

In the event of fire everyone involved should wear:

  • Natural fabrics such as cotton, denim or wool - synthetics can melt or burn.
  • A long sleeved shirt made from thick cotton or wool to prevent burns to the upper body and arms.
  • A pair of heavy cotton pants or overalls to shield your legs.
  • Sturdy leather work boots and a pair of wool socks to prevent burns to the feet.
  • A wide brimmed hat to stop embers from dropping on your head or down your back.
  • Work gloves to protect your hands.
  • A pair of goggles to safeguard our eyes against smoke, embers and debris in the air.
  • A smoke mask or cloth to cover your nose and mouth to protect you from inhaling smoke and embers. You must also drink water regularly to avoid dehydration.

For more about survival kits, download the fact sheet.

Relocation Kit

A relocation kit contains all the things of personal and practical value that you want to relocate to a safe place.

Prepare your relocation kit before the start of the fire season and store it in an easily accessible place. Consider storing it with family or friends who do not live in a fire-prone area. 

The kit could include:

  • protective clothing for each member of the family
  • business records
  • first-aid kit
  • infant supplies
  • woollen blanket for each person
  • packaged foods, drinks, dried fruits
  • photos, videos and personal treasures
  • documents such as diaries and address books
  • computer software and backup
  • pet food, leash, drink bowls
  • medications for family and pets
  • mobile phone charger
  • list of essential phone contacts
  • drinking water
  • battery-operated radio
  • torch
  • insurance documents, passports, licence, banking details and other certificates.

When packing your car, as part of your leave early plan, along with the relocation kit you could also include:

  • your computer
  • masks
  • a bag of clothing for each family member
  • gloves
  • toiletries
  • a pet box with pet
  • a favourite item for each child
  • a shovel.

For more information, download the fact sheet.

Recovery Kit

A recovery kit contains the things you will need to survive in reasonable comfort in the 24 to 48 hours after a bushfire, until normal community services start again.

After the bushfire has passed you may not be able to access facilities that you normally take for granted - for
example, your access road may be blocked by fallen trees, or the power may be out for an extended period. 

The recovery kit contains everything to keep you going for at least 24 hours and up to 48 hours. Prepare your recovery kit ahead of time.

It may include:

  • food, especially high energy foods
  • medication
  • pet food
  • first-aid items
  • toiletries
  • candles and matches
  • drinking water
  • torch and radio batteries
  • change of clothing
  • cash

Think also about little luxuries or special things that might make you feel better after the trauma of a bushfire.