1. Camping in areas with significant gum or eucalyptus trees should be undertaken with caution as these trees are prone to dropping limbs regardless of the weather conditions.
2. Undertake regular communications with Emergency Services and listen to local radio stations to monitor weather changes or fires.
3. Camp leaders should maintain a contact list of Emergency Service and Local Area Support numbers.
4. SES can be contacted anywhere in Victoria on 132-500 to seek assistance.
5. Follow these steps to avoid risks if you are camping in a flood-prone area:
i. Avoid areas which are prone to flash floods
ii. Understand the flood risks in the area and plan accordingly.
Camps held in areas effected by river flooding should ensure that:
a. Contingency plans are prepared [including quick evacuation, alternate locations etc] should storms occur.
b. Heed and take all emergency warnings seriously
c. Pay particular attention to radio/TV for further information
d. Make sure that your supplies, and your garbage, is stored securely in a high place
e. Secure objects that could float and cause damage
f. Check your Emergency Kit and water stocks
i. Portable radio and torch with new batteries
ii. Candles and waterproof matches
iii. Reasonable stock of drinking water and tinned food
iv. A well supplied First Aid Kit
v. Strong shoes and rubber gloves
vi. Waterproof bag for clothing and valuables
vii. Emergency contact numbers for the area
6. During and after the flood:
i. Do not eat food which has be in contact with flood waters
ii. Boil all tap water until supplies have been declared safe
iii. Do not use electrical appliances until they have been safety-checked
iv. Beware of snakes and spiders which tend to seek dry places during storms and floods
v. Do not ener flood waters as they ay be contaminated.
If you must enter shallow flood water, wear solid shoes and check the water depth with a stick.
vi. Confirm safe routes before driving anywhere.
Do not drive through flooded roads without checking the water depth and current.
If your activity is outdoors and there is a lightning strike, listen out for the thunder.
If you hear thunder within 10 seconds of a lightning flash, it lightning is only about 3km away.
The shorter the time between lightning flash and thunder, the closer the lightning.
It is critical that everyone outside finds appropriate shelter as soon as possible considering the following
i. Seek shelter in a hard-top vehicle or solid building.
Avoid small structures or fabric tents.
ii. Never shelter under a tree.
iii. If far from a shelter, make yourself as small as possible (crouch with feet together), preferably in a hollow – try not to be the highest object around.
iv. Remove all metal objects from your head and body and put them away from you.
v. If your hair stands on end or if you hear buzzing on nearby rocks, fences, etc, move away immediately.
At night, a blue glow may show if an object is about to be struck.
vi. Do not handle umbrellas.
vii. Stay clear of metal poles, fences, clotheslines, etc.
viii. If driving, slow down or park away from trees, power lines, etc.
Stay inside metal-bodied (hard-topped) cars or caravans but do not touch any metal sections.
ix. If you are swimming, surfing, etc, leave the water immediately.
If your activity is indoors when there is a thunderstorm, the Camp Leader should ensure that:
i. All external aerial and power leads to radios and TVs are disconnected prior to the storm arrives.
ii. Draw all curtains and keep clear of windows, electrical appliances, pipes and other metal fixtures.
iii. Avoid use of telephones.
In case of emergency, make sure:
a. the calls brief
b. do not touch any metal, brick or concrete
c. do not stand barefoot on concrete or tiled floors