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Lessons Learned from a Bushfire Emergency

by Colleen P Moyne (Colmo) (follow)
I'm a freelance writer living in the beautiful river town of Mannum in SA, dreaming of the day I can retire from the 9-5 to write full time.
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Bushfire South Australia
Image of Sampson Flat Fire

While Iím sitting at my computer writing this, Iím also keeping watch on the Fire Service emergency warning site. There is a bushfire burning out of control about twenty kilometres from my home and the neighbouring town has been evacuated.

Iím dressed and ready to go if the call comes for me to leave. I have my car packed with all the things that Ė to me Ė are irreplaceable; photos, memorabilia, gifts my children and grandchildren have given me, my journals and important documents. I have an overnight bag with some clothes, shoes and toiletries.

Sitting beside the aquarium where I keep my pet turtle is a container waiting to transfer him into for transport if needed. The same goes for my goldfish. Outside I have a crate ready for my two chickens.

Bushfire South Australia
Burning Out of Control

Iím watching and waiting Ė waiting to find out whether my home and all my belongings will be safe. My children are keeping in constant contact with me to make sure I'm ok.

Iíve lived in my house for about sixteen months here in the Barossa Valley in South Australia, and this is the third time this has happened Ė and it certainly wonít be the last. It is a fact of life when you choose to live in the country.

The most amazing thing about an event like this is that it makes you aware of what your lifeís priorities really are. Every now and then I get up from the computer and take a wander around the house. Sure, Iíd love to pack up all my books but there isn't room. I could probably take more clothing, bed linen, kitchen utensils or ornaments but to me these things are justÖ things. I love them but I know that they can be replaced easily.

Image courtesy of ABC News

I think about the boxes of stuff still in my shed that havenít even been unpacked yet. If they were that important I would have done something about them by now.

So I guess if thereís a message here it would be to cherish the things in your life that are irreplaceable. Respect and revere them and clear out all the unnecessary junk to make room in your life for them.

Once this threat is over I think Iím going to have a garage saleÖ

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[ Submit a Comment ]
I've been thinking of you and all of the other people I know whose lives and homes are under threat from this fire. I have family at Mt Pleasant, and know lots of writers living in the hills. It's scary stuff, and I'm glad I live in relative safety down on the plains.

Thinking about the most important things to take with me if I did ever have to leave in a hurry, the dogs, of course, and my car, with a change of underwear, and my purse. That would be enough.

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