How To Prepare For Bushfires and Floods In Australia

Whenever planning a trip to Australia, you should do some research into all the possible scenarios you may find yourself in, including natural disasters. While natural disasters are unlikely, the two main natural disasters that may affect travellers in Australia are bush fires and floods. For campers travelling in a campervan or motorhome, it’s helpful to know how to navigate these situations. In the unlikely event that someone faces a bush fire or flood, this guide can help.

PLAN AHEAD TO STAY SAFE

Before embarking on your trip, you should make efforts to plan ahead. Summers in Australia reach high temperatures, making the landscape dry, and occasionally leading to bush fires. Flooding also occurs in the spring and summer months in Australia, particularly in Queensland. Most bush fires and flooding happen between the months of November and April each year. If your visit to Australia is during these months, it can be a good idea to prepare for these unlikely natural events. This precaution allows you to have peace of mind and comfort as you enjoy your holiday.

When planning a trip to Australia, you can choose to avoid areas that are historically prone to these natural disasters. Additionally, check weather forecasts for the upcoming days of your trip. The most reliable source with up to date weather information is the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

MONITOR ALERTS WHILE TRAVELLING

Both before and during your trip, you can keep an eye out for bush fire alerts, flood alerts, and road closures. The Australian government is excellent at providing people with notice so they can alter their travel routes away from bush fires or floods. ABC Emergency Facebook Page provides national emergency alerts.

State Specific Emergency Alert Resources:

Additional Resources:

PREPARE YOUR EMERGENCY KIT

It cannot be stressed enough if you’re a camper, you should be travelling with an emergency kit. This is good practice for the rare event of a natural disaster or any sort of minor accidents that may occur. Keep the kit with you at all times so you can grab it quickly if needed.

Some essential items for your emergency kit are:

  • Portable radio
  • Necessary medications
  • First aid materials
  • Extra mobile phone
  • Phone charger
  • Hard copy maps
  • Torch
  • An abundance of bottled water
  • Woollen blanket.

DOWNLOAD THE EMERGENCY KIT CHECKLIST (REDCROSS)

 

FIRE SAFETY TIPS FOR CAMPERS

Once you’re on the road in your campervan or motorhome, there are a few simple rules and processes you should keep in mind.

  • Don’t contribute to the danger by camping with an open flame during fire alert season.
  • At every campsite, understand the open-fire policy of the day and follow it.
  • If you know any fires or floods are relatively nearby, don’t unpack your campsite fully. You want to be prepared for a quick pack up if needed.

 

TIPS TO STAY SAFE DURING A BUSHFIRE

  • While driving between campsites, never drive through bushfires.
  • If you notice smoke or fire on your upcoming path, turn around and drive away, if it’s safe to do so.
  • If you are unable to turn around or redirect to a new way, stay in the car.
  • Park near a clearing and face your car towards the fire.
  • Turn your hazards and headlights on so you’re more easily found
  • Contact authorities for help by dialling 000.

TIPS TO STAY SAFE DURING A FLOOD

  • Never try to drive through flood water as it can be very deceiving how deep the water is and how easy it is for your car to be carried away.
  • Don’t try to swim in floodwater.
  • If your vehicle is already in floodwater, abandon your car and move to higher ground.
  • Contact authorities for help by dialling 000.

Australia is a beautiful country that is best explored, driving from place to place in a campervan, taking in all the scenery. However, as is the case with any holiday, it’s essential to research before embarking on a trip. Travellers need to have a plan on the small probability of a natural disaster occurs during their trip. The benefits of a motorhome are that you can easily alter your vacation destinations, away from the danger. Unlike locked in hotel reservations that may be nonrefundable, a campervan trip offers flexibility in the face of surprises.

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