I'm feeling a little bit cranky about all the bushfire warnings that have started already via a government advertising campaign. I'm cranky because I think that the current approach to fire safety is a lot of media and government hype. Last year, no doubt, made a lot of people rethink their fire plan...and with good reason. But must we hype things up into a fear-frenzy in the process?
I live in a high fire-prone area. This is a threat that we take seriously each and every summer. Not just because all of a sudden the government says we should. We have a fire plan and we know the five routes we can take away from home, depending on which way a fire might be coming from. We're as prepared as we can be. Having the Premier and the media going on and on about the upcoming summer simply makes people afraid. Afraid to live in their own homes and carry on their normal lives.
We have a early warning messaging system up and running now. Let's just leave it at that and stop the scaremongering. Those of us who live in fire-prone areas are quite sufficiently aware without people in high places trying to scare our children out of their wits and unsettle us in the process.
Cry wolf too many times, and the community will begin to roll their eyes and ignore the powers that be. Is that not more of a danger than allowing people to sensibly respond to the situations that might arise this summer? Put the advertising money into educating those of us who require them, to prepare well thought out fire plans and then let us live the way we always have. Being aware and sensible!