Update regarding ACT fire conditions

31 January 2020

Good morning everyone,  
I'm sorry I have to write to you again this week, but the next few days are going to be highly challenging for Canberra.  

The ACT remains on a State of Alert and there is total fire ban in place. Today is rated Very High Fire Danger and tomorrow Severe. 

If you have not done so already, I strongly encourage you to familiarise yourself with the ESA website [go to esa.act.gov.au], their social media accounts and download the "Fires Near Me" app to your phone.

The ABC is the national emergency broadcaster [go to abc.net.au/news/emergency] and ABC Canberra is broadcasting regular information updates. 

Please prioritise your own safety and that of your family by making sure your fire plan is up to date.  You can find fire plan information on the ACT Emergency Services website [go to esa.gov.au].  

Many of our ANU community live in suburbs that are on high alert and concerned about the fires and ash. 

For those who lived through the 2003 bushfire, this week will be a particularly challenging time, and it's important that we look after each other. If you need to leave work to prepare your house, remove pets or assist loved ones, please do so but let your supervisor know. 

In the event of an emergency, the ACT Government has set-up an evacuation centre at Erindale College for people and household pets. Exhibition Park has been temporarily set-up as an evacuation point for people with horses and livestock. 

The University is currently unaffected by the fires, and we are continuing to monitor conditions. We will provide you with major updates via email, SMS, the ANUOK app, the ANU website and our social media channels.  

This has been a really difficult summer for everyone, and I understand you may be feeling distressed and anxious. Please look after yourselves and each other and seek support if you need to.

Staff can access free support and counselling through the Employee Assistance program which can be reached on 1800 808 374. Students can access support via ANU Crisis Support Line on 1300 050 327 or via SMS Text message service on 0488 884 170.