Emergency conditions: weather , bushfire - remote travel

Submitted: Sunday, Nov 14, 2021 at 03:26
ThreadID: 142856 Views:1193 Replies:11 FollowUps:9
What do people use to get notified of, or track emergency conditions such as cyclones /bad weather or bushfire when outside of mobile network coverage?
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Reply By: Member - DW Lennox Head(NSW) - Sunday, Nov 14, 2021 at 03:54

Sunday, Nov 14, 2021 at 03:54
I have a Garmin inReach SE+. This has access to weather.
Otherwise, obvious visual observation is another way, eg.,smoke in summertime would indicate an issue.
From the Garmin, a text message can be sent to find out if there is a danger.
Cheers
Duncan
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Follow Up By: Member - Elaine B - Sunday, Nov 14, 2021 at 19:48

Sunday, Nov 14, 2021 at 19:48
Thanks DW.
How do you find the garmin weather app? Am I right that you can link the inreach to your smartphone to see the maps etc? Does the weather app also show other emergency scenarios (bushfire and errrm can't think of others... closed roads?)
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Follow Up By: Member - DW Lennox Head(NSW) - Sunday, Nov 14, 2021 at 20:10

Sunday, Nov 14, 2021 at 20:10
There is a tab within the inReach that can find weather. A message can be sent to a friend, for example, to obtain more accurate information.
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Sunday, Nov 14, 2021 at 08:22

Sunday, Nov 14, 2021 at 08:22
I use information provided by locals, wherever I am. They usually have access to weather forecasts by various means.
As an example, we, a group of three vehicles were booked in to camp at William Creek for a couple of days, having arrived on the friday. That night at the pub, we heard of a possible weather front that was predicted to move into the area within the next 24 hours or so. We were advised to check again in the morning for an update. Even though we had paid for two days at the caravan park, we decided to head out the following morning and head back to Coober Pedy and bitumen roads, as all the tracks in and out of William Creek are unsealed.
We arrived back in Coober Pedy by early afternoon and a few hours later, the whole area was inundated by a rainstorm that lasted 24 hours. Had we stayed in William Creek, we world have been there for a week or more, as all roads were flooded and impassable for several days.
We were somewhat fortunate because Trevor Wright, from Wrightair, is based there and has better than average access to weather forecasts and radar predictions.
But generally, there are people with businesses or rural holdings, wherever you may be, that rely on accurate weather forecasts and are more than willing to share information with others.
I haven't needed my own expensive communication devices to access weather forecasts and rely on locals wherever I am at the time, to obtain the information to assist me in making the appropriate decisions.
Bill


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Reply By: Member -Pinko (NSW) - Sunday, Nov 14, 2021 at 08:23

Sunday, Nov 14, 2021 at 08:23
Thank you Elaine B for posting this subject
I have often pondered the same question.
I have an HF radio using the VKS NETWORK and at one time the ABC transmitted the news on this frequency and we could listen to this wherever we were in Australia. This service from ABC has now ceased.
If a tsunami were to hit the remote WA coast say Ningaloo up to 80 mile beach it would go many kilometres inland. There are always hundreds of campers on this low lying coastline.
I don’t know how emergency information could be spread to these camping communities other than radio?
Living is a journey,it depends on where you go !
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Reply By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Nov 14, 2021 at 11:06

Sunday, Nov 14, 2021 at 11:06
.
Hi Elaine,

I don't think that there is any way to "get notified" of conditions that may have impact on your travels.
Other than the social media of broadcast radio, television or mobile phone network you are very much on your own when in remote areas.

One reliable source of weather or public risk is the VHS-737 radio network which provides emergency and communication assistance services. However they do not "notify" subscribers of situations. They respond to enquiry and may broadcast weather or other event information as appropriate. Their services are very reliable but to obtain them it is necessary to have a HF radio and pay an annual member subscription fee. (VHS-737 here)

Other than such services, you are very much on your own 'out there' and can only gather information from whatever communication services that may become available including enquiries to local residents and other travellers.

Maybe one other way ...... Obtain a sat-phone and have a relative or friend 'at home' keep you informed.


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Allan

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Follow Up By: Jeff S7 - Tuesday, Nov 16, 2021 at 16:42

Tuesday, Nov 16, 2021 at 16:42
Hi All, I put up the sat TV and get the National and local news most nights, works for me. Jeff
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Reply By: Cant wait - Sunday, Nov 14, 2021 at 11:51

Sunday, Nov 14, 2021 at 11:51
The app FIRES NEAR ME will show bushfires near you. You can expand to show the areas that you want to travel
WILLY WEATHER has a notification function that sends emails several days out for your area
the various states and territories have ROAD CONDITIONS sections that will show whats open etc
GOOGLE MAPS will show you realtime information on the road that youre on. It shows roadworks, delays and stopped traffic
Im sure there's others available butthese help my trips
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Nov 14, 2021 at 16:14

Sunday, Nov 14, 2021 at 16:14
.
The OP did say..... "when outside of mobile network coverage".
None of your suggestions apply in that situation. But may be useful otherwise.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Member - Elaine B - Sunday, Nov 14, 2021 at 19:39

Sunday, Nov 14, 2021 at 19:39
Thanks @Cant Wait. I do have some similar (and same) internet resources, the problem is accessing them when out of mobile coverage.
Would a sat sleeve or similar allow access to websites without having to sell the first born to fund it?
I've found bushfire.io pretty useful and can have layers turned on or off to show other hazards, but wouldn't know how to access it in a remote area.
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Reply By: Cant wait - Sunday, Nov 14, 2021 at 11:53

Sunday, Nov 14, 2021 at 11:53
I forget to mention BOM as they give info on cyclone development and tracking
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Reply By: equinox - Sunday, Nov 14, 2021 at 11:55

Sunday, Nov 14, 2021 at 11:55
ABC Radio - the nation's emergency broadcaster.

Listen to them, they will tell you what's going on - unless the footy's on, then you will have to wait until after the footy.

Looking for adventure.
In whatever comes our way.
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Follow Up By: Member - Warren H - Sunday, Nov 14, 2021 at 14:41

Sunday, Nov 14, 2021 at 14:41
My thoughts were ABC local radio as well, however I wonder how good are the MW radios in modern vehicles? I have been in places where there has been no MW reception and it's not uncommon to read on forums how poor many car radios are with internal aerials. The post has me wondering if there is a decent standalone radio you could buy perhaps even with an aerial socket?
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Follow Up By: Member - Elaine B - Sunday, Nov 14, 2021 at 19:19

Sunday, Nov 14, 2021 at 19:19
Thanks @Warren H and @Equinox.
I was about to reply that my vehicle only has AM and FM, but a quick Google informed me that AM includes MW spectrum.
That may be an option to look into.
Thanks.
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Sunday, Nov 14, 2021 at 20:02

Sunday, Nov 14, 2021 at 20:02
As well as my mobile, I always take my ageing sat phone whenever I go to work, or on a trip. If the weather becomes ominous, I usually ring my wife & ask her to check a weather app, plus check the sat map & radar for the area I plan to travel. I usually do a check of the weather at least a week in advance, to see what may be arcing up in the north west, or southwest of Australia.

There are also other natural signs one can observe, that can forecast a change in the weather. Ants building the entrance of their nests up much higher then normal, a mackerel cloud formation in morning often means rain in 3 days, a hot spell for a few days up to a week or more,can arc up a change, or a few thunderstorms. Other indications like rings around the moon sometimes work, but you need to be awake to observe that?

One thing for sure, if there’s a SE wind blowing across Central Australia, there’s no chance of any rain!

Bob

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Reply By: Member - Cuppa - Saturday, Nov 20, 2021 at 11:32

Saturday, Nov 20, 2021 at 11:32
For bushfire info across the Top End you can't beat NAFI.https://firenorth.org.au/nafi3/

They have a phone app now which can be used offline

https://savannafiremapping.com/nafi-mobile-app/
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Sunday, Nov 21, 2021 at 09:19

Sunday, Nov 21, 2021 at 09:19
Question, how does the Fire App get updated information when “off line”?

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Follow Up By: Member - Cuppa - Sunday, Nov 21, 2021 at 10:15

Sunday, Nov 21, 2021 at 10:15
A good question Macca.
Answer as far as I can work out is that it of course can't be. However it does have offline maps which can be downloaded (free) & updated with the most recent 'fire scar' & 'hot spot' information prior to going off line.

This at least can give the user a good idea of the level of risk in an area, by knowing what has previously burned & how recently, as well as what was burning before they went off line. If you know the country, & are aware of recent weather, the app would be a useful tool to aid gauging likely fuel loads. Knowing where hotspots were at time of last being online together with a knowledge of current wind direction & topography of the land would all help add to the picture of relative danger/safety.

So 'better than nothing' & quite useful to folk who regularly need to spend time in fire prone areas. A planning tool, which can be checked showing your GPS location at any time.
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Reply By: Member - Warren H - Sunday, Nov 21, 2021 at 11:08

Sunday, Nov 21, 2021 at 11:08
This has been an interesting thread. In many ways for anyone that is outside areas covered by mobile phone or AM radio, the country has gone backwards, ABC SW radio broadcasts were dropped years ago and HF radio requires significant investment as well as vehicle real estate. For remote communities satellite links and the digital telephone repeater networks have been (improved) replacements for what preceeded them, but travellers have been left wanting. Satellite TV is an option, but again I'm not sure how feasible it would be for true go anywhere rigs such as T-vans and similar. Might I suggest that if you are travelling in country and season where weather or other emergencies are possible, then having a designated person that you check in with via a sat phone and who is able to monitor for aforementioned alerts is the best solution. When I was working at CSIRO we had officers in remote corners of this country and in remote and dangerous parts of the world (e.g. Iraq Tigris-Euphrates Marshlands, southern Phillipines, Mali). They were kitted out with Spot trackers and satphones but still had routine call-in protocols in place.
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Reply By: Member - mike g2 - Wednesday, Dec 01, 2021 at 22:07

Wednesday, Dec 01, 2021 at 22:07
agree with all other thoughts. add: use observation of environment when needing to get a feel for possible emergency occurances . wind, cloud, birds, animal and insect activity often related to season, weather. obvious stuff; watch for distant smoke ( fire) , distant thunderstorms ( flash flood) , retreating ocean 1 km out ( tsunami) . use safe camp rules. (many) . climb to a hill (not mountain) and look around.
any reasonable rain = quick degeneration of track to mud, fire visible for miles etc....

obviuos stuff: 3 basics: get/ have food, water, shelter.

see: farmers guide

clouds to watch for

MG
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