After the Catastrophic Fire Danger Rating Day, last Friday, it was decided to review BUC’s policy, so the Church Council Exec and the Property Committee working together have put together the following policy.
Blackwood Uniting Church’s Safer Refuge Policy on Catastrophic Fire Danger Rating Days
- That all groups within the church and those outside groups hiring the church for their own purposes be advised that as our church has been declared a “Safer Place” on Catastrophic Fire Danger Rating Days, their normal activities may be affected by additional members of the public seeking refuge within the church.
- That any employee or volunteer managing, leading or supporting a Church group is under no compulsion to attend any particular activity on a day of Catastrophic Fire Danger Rating day and they are encouraged to make their own arrangements in accordance with their individual Fire Action Plans.
- That each church group is under no compulsion to change the way that they meet on Catastrophic Fire Danger Rating Days, but would be encouraged to discuss the implications for them and make clear and precise pre-determined decisions about what they will do as individuals and as a group. (This would enable individual groups to determine whether or not they would run their program on Catastrophic risk days based upon their circumstances).
So what does that mean?
BUC is open as a refuge on Catastrophic Fire Danger Rating Days, which may cause a disruption to the normal activities if additional people do come to the building to shelter from the possibility of a bush fire in their area.
On Catastrophic Fire Danger Rating days, no one has to come into the area to lead or attend anything at the church. If you live down the hill or out of the Blackwood area, it may be safer for you to stay there or go somewhere else rather than come to Blackwood. It is best if individuals work out their own separate fire plans and action them. Do you have your own personal or family fire plan?
Also, we ask church groups to pre think about what they are going to do on Catastrophic Fire Danger Rating Days. Will the church groups continue to do what they usually do or make some other suitable arrangement or perhaps not meet that day. It is up to the leaders/organisers of each separate church group to work out a plan, so that their group knows what will probably happen on those days.
(Rev) Coral Cogs Smith
Blackwood Uniting Church