Couples’ bushfire survival planning: a case study - The 2011 Lake Clifton (WA) Fire
Evidence from several sources indicates that during the 2009 Victorian bushfires (Black Saturday), many couples did not have a bushfire plan, others failed to execute their plans and some members of couples perished. Whilst there were many cases of successful couple decision-making, there were also apparent failures of survival-related couple decision-making. In this study, transcripts of 29 interviews with members of different households conducted following the Lake Clifton bushfire (WA, 10 January 2011) were analysed to examine couples’ long term bushfire planning and preparation. Findings indicate mostly moderate levels of concern by couples about bushfire risk. Long-term preparation was mostly focused narrowly on protection of the house, with less attention given to the likely needs of children, pets, important records, and other valuables. Husbands mainly managed home protection bushfire preparation. The majority of those interviewed said that if they were threatened by a bushfire in the future, they would act in the same way as they had on the day of the fire.