An Evacuation Centre is a designated building, specifically selected to provide people with a safe shelter option away from the immediate or potential effects of an emergency. They are for people who leave bushfire affected areas and do not go somewhere else of their own choosing eg. to homes of friends or family etc.
What is Evacuation?
Evacuation involves the planned and coordinated movement of people from an unsafe or potentially unsafe location to a safer location. The process of evacuation includes the return of people back to a community.
What you need to know
- Evacuation Centres will not be used in all bushfires and there will not be one in every local area.
- If an evacuation centre is opened, the TFS will advertise it through ABC Local Radio and the TFS website (go to Current Bushfires and Other Incidents on the home page and click on the 'More Info' icon for the relevant fire).
- It is up to each individual as to whether or not they go to the evacuation centre. If people are in any doubt about what they should do when bushfires are affecting their area and an evacuation centre is opened, TFS reminds them that not being in bushfire affected areas is always the safer option.
- Evacuation Centres offer only very basic shelter/amenities and they will only be open for a short period of time - so people need to be essentially `self-sufficient`.
- It is ok to take domestic pets as long as you can look after/secure them (although pets may not be allowed inside the community fire refuge). Livestock and larger animals should not be taken.
Where are Evacuation Centres?
TFS, in partnership with the State Emergency Service and Local Councils have identified the best facilities to use as evacuation centres, across the state. Facilities are selected considering:
- Safety – sites are located away from the potential effects of a bushfire
- Capacity – sites have enough space to accommodate people
- Amenities – sites have toilets & wash facilities
- Accessibility – sites are accessible for people with disabilities
- Traffic management – sites cater for parking, vehicle access and surge capacity
- Power & water – sites are connected to electricity and potable water services
Evacuation Centres will be well clear of the expected path of fires and when they are selected, TFS will broadcast their location on ABC Local Radio and the TFS website.
State-wide arrangements for emergency management workers
TFS and SES have developed state-wide arrangements for the coordinated operation of evacuation centres for bushfire emergency. These arrangements identify agency and local government roles and responsibilities in the activation of evacuation centres, and the provision of recovery services.
Evacuation Centre locations will be broadcast on ABC Local Radio and the TFS website.
Tasmania Fire Service may identify Nearby Safer Places in Community Protection Plans.
If you live in or near the bush, you need to make a bushfire survival plan. Your plan needs to include places you can shelter at, in case you cannot carry out your preferred plan. ‘Nearby safer places’ are places you can shelter at during bushfires.More info on Nearby Safer Places