THE recent string of intensely hot days is a reminder of how being prepared for extreme conditions is crucial.
Victorians' hearts have gone out to the Tasmanians affected by bushfires, including farmers who have reportedly lost thousands of livestock and hectares of crops.
Emergency services and the bushfire plans of many Victorians are also, unfortunately, likely to come under pressure.
Already we have seen several towns breaking records for consecutive days above 40C.
And the Bureau of Meteorology is now warning of a high fire danger period in the coming five weeks.
Let's hope further major disasters do not result following this prediction.
Of course, preparations cannot be entirely failsafe, but the warnings should have every Victorian, particularly emergency services leaders, on their toes.
The mixed messages received by residents in southwest Victoria over the Kentbruck-Portland Rd fire and last week's website crash and problems with the Country Fire Authority's app should never have happened.
The test is now for the CFA and State Government to ensure emergency responses are spot-on.
The extreme weather also affects fruit growers and livestock producers and reminds farmers of the need to be drought-ready.
It should also turn the minds of governments towards drought and the new drought programs that the Federal Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig and state ministers agreed to last year.
The focus is on risk management and preparedness rather than crisis management, and it will be available at all times, without the need for an exceptional circumstances declaration. This was largely welcomed by farmers.
But for it to be effective, the government and farm sector need to respond with the same urgency as they would to a crisis to help farmers be more resilient when the next drought arrives.