Van park flood danger
As flooding threatens parks across Australia, Lionel Mussell gives his tips for avoiding disaster.
MOST OF US KNOW why caravan parks insist that you park your caravan or motorhome facing the road: it’s so that in the event of some impending disaster, like a flood or bushfire, you can get out quickly.
During recent flooding in three states, a number of parks went underwater – not surprising, as many of them are situated on floodplains. As can be expected, those who didn’t get out soon enough sustained water damage to their RVs.
SEEKING REFUGE IN YOUR RV
There were a lot more people who suffered flood damage to their homes – but you can’t take your home with you when you evacuate. Many residents lost valuable possessions and suffered heartbreaking damage to their homes and contents.
Some Americans were very astute when the hurricane hit New Orleans some years ago: they had their RVs fuelled up, clothes and food packed, and valuable papers and photographs placed on board. When the threat came, they took off and drove to a safer area.
We can learn from their experience: RV owners in dire flood scenarios have the potential for somewhere to live, and can protect some valuables from potential damage.
If your home is in danger of flooding and the town is being evacuated,
have your caravan or other RV ready to go and get to some safer location. Don’t forget to take important documents with you and any irreplaceable photographs and possessions.
For park residents, the message is clear: don’t stay in the caravan park until it’s too late – get out in time and move to somewhere safer, on higher ground.
AVOID DANGER ZONES
In your haste to get away, you might be tempted to drive straight through flooded areas of the road. Look at the markers to see how deep the water is, or wade through first to make sure it’s safe – and be careful you don’t put yourself at risk if the current is flowing too strongly.
Australia is a country of contrasts when it comes to disasters, and you can never be too prepared. How’s your insurance cover? I once overlooked renewing my policy and went for a few years with no cover. I thought I had cover until I went under a low bridge and damaged a four-seasons hatch. I was horrified when I found my insurance had lapsed.
A few dollars saved by going for a cheaper policy, or taking a risk with no policy at all, could result in substantial loss. Don’t let it happen to you.
Do you have tips for the wet season? Share them below.
WORDS Lionel Mussell
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