Bushfires - Closure and Evacuation
NBCS has a specific Bush Fire Plan, drawn up with accredited Bush Fire Authorities, and reviewed annually. This strategy has provision for response to several possible contingencies.
Actual closure of the school, and where required during a school day, evacuation, would occur under the advice of Fire, Rescue or Police authorities if:
Catastrophic Fire Intensity
Scenario: Official authority fire warnings are listed as forecasting CATASTROPHIC fire intensity as a result of predicted fire weather conditions for the local areas near the school - this is usually provided by authorities up to 24 hours in advance.
NBCS Response: Authority warnings through the media would be reinforced by an email and SMS notification of SCHOOL CLOSURE to all parents directing that students be kept at home and not sent to school. Should the warning be upgraded to CATASTROPHIC during the school day parents will be notified and whole school evacuation would be implemented (see below).
Nearby bushfire activity
Scenario: There is the occurrence of bushfire activity within Garigal or Ku-ring-gai Chase National Parks in conjunction with SEVERE or EXTREME fire intensity as a result of predicted fire weather conditions within the local school area.
NBCS Response: Will be dependent upon authority advice regarding the nature, location, predicted movements and impacts of the bushfire activity. Should the school be advised that site evacuation is required, Forest Coach Lines has agreed to assist and parents will be notified by SMS regarding the start of student exit from the school site. Our evacuation strategy allows for a carefully structured and supervised exit to maximise the personal safety of everyone involved and to expedite site clearance thus helping Emergency Services access – siblings to be evacuated together as the youngest leaves (refer to the NBCS website for further details relating to buses).
If school evacuation is initiated, parents must not come to the school site, but should collect students from Wyatt Reserve Oval.
Wyatt Reserve is in Wyatt Ave, Belrose, which is 10 minutes (8km) away from NBCS. To assist a smooth single direction flow for cars and shuttle buses, parents should use the following route:
- Enter Wyatt Ave at Forest Way (lights)
- Collect child
- Exit via left turn into Cotentin Rd
- Left turn into Ralston Rd, and back to Forest Way.
Download: NBCS Evacuation Schedule - bus and time estimates (PDF)
The school is required to document that the site is actually cleared, and also to ascertain the future whereabouts of all students exiting. Parents in cars, collecting students from Wyatt Oval, should be prepared to ‘circle the block’ and display any windscreen signage they usually use at NBCS. An NBCS parent authorised to remove other than their own children, must be prepared to respond with required information (mobile number, name of car occupants, car registration) before the removal of that child.
If the school is alerted that fire has suddenly sprung up, or quickly reached, within 5 km of the campus boundary, and thus the danger is judged as ‘immediate’, authorities will assist us to move all personnel in a pre-planned response, to the designated Onsite Refuge Area which is within the Sports Centre. Onsite Emergency Personnel will also use this building as their Onsite Refuge if required.
Parents will be notified as soon as possible by SMS of this response requirement. At such a time it should be anticipated that surrounding roads would be temporarily closed and approach to the Terrey Hills area would be stopped by authorities.