“Green means gone” is the message of the flagging trial at Bridgetown this fire season, according to officials.
The idea is residents can save time and potentially lives via the simple act of leaving a weighted green shopping bag in their driveway when they evacuate their property in the event of a bushfire.
“We are asking people to do their bit and help the emergency responders,” WA Police senior policy officer Tracie Farrington said after briefing emergency services personnel in Bridgetown on Friday.
“I’ve sat in post-incident analyses where they’re talking about police officers running from house to house with their hair singeing, and sitting there thinking, we shouldn’t have that,” she said.
Anecdotal evidence from New Zealand and Canada suggests flagging works well but while limited exercises have been conducted in Denmark and Mundaring in the past two years, more information is needed to check whether it will work in WA.
Flagging would work with the new national emergency alert system, Ms Farrington said.
The green bag was chosen as a way of marking properties because the bags were cheap and readily available, and many people keep them handy for shopping.
Several boxes remain from the previous exercises and will be given away for use in the Bridgetown-Greenbushes trial.
“This will let us test the concept, whether the community likes the concept and will get behind it,” Ms Farrington said.