Things you need in your bushfire survival kit

Man packing bag onto car carrier

Nyasha Jokomo

Posted November 02, 2023

Knowing that you have a well-prepared bushfire survival kit can help reduce stress and anxiety during a fire emergency, allowing you to focus on staying safe.

Bushfires can spread rapidly, and if you live in or are travelling to or through bushfire-prone areas you should be prepared by having a bushfire survival kit. Having a well-prepared survival kit means you're in a better position to leave early or respond to evacuation advice, helping reduce the risk of leaving critical supplies behind.

Your survival kit can be customised to meet the specific needs of your family, accounting for any special requirements such as infant supplies, pet needs, or medical conditions. 

Bushfire survival kit

Having a well-prepared survival kit means you're in a better position to leave early or respond to evacuation advice. Image: Getty.


What to include in your bushfire survival kit

A bushfire plan

The Country Fire Authority (CFA) advises you to include a bushfire plan as part of your survival kit. This may help you know when to leave, where you’ll go and how you will get there in an emergency as it can be difficult to think clearly in those circumstances.


  • Water: Store at least 3-5 litres of water per person for drinking and other essential use. You can use sealed water bottles or large water containers.
  • Non-perishable food: Include enough food for several days, such as canned goods, energy bars, and dried fruits.
  • Basic utensils: If your food items are in cans, ensure you have a manual can opener. Also pack other utensils.
  • Change of clothes: An overnight bag with a couple of days change of clothes.
  • First aid kit: Include essential medical supplies, prescription medications, and personal hygiene items (including toiletries).
  • Personal documents: Important documents like your driver’s license, IDs, passports, and a USB with copies of your insurance policies, wills, special photos, and medical records in a waterproof bag.
  • Battery-powered or hand-cranked radio: Stay informed about the fire's progress and evacuation instructions.
  • Fully charged mobile phone and charger: Keep your phone charged and carry a portable charger if possible.
  • Important contacts: Save important phone numbers including your doctor, family and friends, and emergency hotlines such as VicEmergency.
  • Light: Torch or flashlight with extra batteries.
  • Wool blankets: Useful for smothering small fires and may help protect from radiant heat.

Important extras

  • Maps: Include local maps showing evacuation routes and nearby water sources. Map out your main routes and alternatives in case there are road closures or danger on your primary route.
  • Pet supplies: If you have pets, ensure you have a suitable transport carrier or leash. Pack food, treats, water, and any necessary medications for them. A familiar item like a toy or bed may help to reduce stress on your pets.
  • Disability or special needs: If you or someone in your family has specific medical needs, ensure you have the necessary supplies, equipment, and prescriptions in the kit.
  • Keep your kit accessible: Remember to keep your bushfire survival kit in an easily accessible location, so you can quickly grab it in the event of bushfire risk.
Woman with packed bag checking list on mobile phone

Use a checklist to make sure you don't miss anything in your bushfire survival kit. Image: Getty.


Regularly check and refresh your bushfire survival kit, especially before bushfire season, to ensure that items are in good condition and that supplies have not expired. Being proactive and having a well-thought-out survival kit can make a significant difference in your ability to stay safe during a bushfire emergency.

Stay informed

Monitor the bushfire alert levels and Fire Danger Ratings in your area. Always follow the advice and direction of emergency services.

Those who will be in bushfire-prone areas should consider downloading the VicEmergency app on their smartphones and save the number to the VicEmergency Hotline: 1800 226 226.

If you are in a life-threatening situation, call 000 immediately. 

These resources and apps can help you during bushfire season:

Are you protected in the event of something unexpected occurring?
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