Bushfire Emergency Information

For residents of Varuna

·      Varuna is located adjacent to the Blue Mountains National Park and therefore may be susceptible to bush fires.

·      As you are aware, Varuna is a residential retreat with staff in attendance on some weekdays and infrequently on weekends, unless for a special purpose. There is no on-site manager.

·      This information has been developed to advise you of what to do if a bush fire is threatened or occurs while you are staying at Varuna.

1. Forecast of “catastrophic” weather event in the Katoomba region:

Depending on the timing of the declaration, the management of Varuna may determine that the house should be closed and residents asked to return to their homes. This would be done only in these exreme circumstances and any paying residents would be refunded fees for the balance of the unused period.   If it is not possible for residents to leave the area due to fire activity elsewhere, the emergency procedures below will apply.

2. Where there is an actual fire event in the Katoomba region:

If the fire occurs during a day where Varuna staff are at the house, staff will liaise with residents in the first instance.

If you have a computer, it is recommended that you log on to the Blue Mountains Rural Fire Service website (http://www.bluemountains.rfs.nsw.gov.au/), which will provide updates and map location, status and projected path of the fire. Attached to this paper is a map of the area with the location of Varuna marked.

You should pack your belongings in case it is necessary to evacuate.

If the fire is projected to threaten an area in the vicinity of Varuna, you may be asked by emergency services personnel or Varuna staff to leave the residence.

If so, the evacuation point is the Carrington Hotel in Katoomba (also marked on the attached map).  If possible, staff will arrange transport to the hotel or you may use your own vehicle if travelling by car. It is not intended that you stay at the Carrington but we have chosen this as a close venue in a built up area which has some facilities if it is necessary to stay for an hour or two.

If you wish to leave earlier, of course it is your prerogative to do so; however, we require you to notify a staff member beforehand (assuming it is possible to do so) so we can account for your whereabouts.

Once the danger has passed, we envisage you will be able to return to Varuna. If not, we will make every effort to assist you to leave the area and return home.

If you become aware of a fire in the area at night and you are directed to leave by emergency services personnel or you are worried about the situation, again please go to the Carrington and wait until the danger has passed.

We’ve prepared this information in the interests of your safety but at the end of the day, each emergency situation will be different and you should take such action as you believe is in your best interests, given the circumstances and the advice provided to you by emergency services personnel.

Listed below are useful telephone numbers:

Taxi: 4782 1311

Rural Fire Service: 1800679737

Blue Mountains Fire Control Centre: 4784 7444

Police (Katoomba): 4782 8199

SES (Katoomba): 4782 3200 (general inquiries)

SES Floods & Storms 132500

Otherwise if an emergency occurs, ring “000” and advise your location and needs.