Australia is a country regularly ravaged by natural disasters – from bushfires and floods to cyclones, storms and even occasional earthquakes.
Disaster Watch is an Australian Federal Government initiative that brings together warnings and current condition reports for bushfires, cyclones, earthquakes, floods, lightning, storms and Tsunamis, plus offers advice and information on handling your pets in emergencies.
It’s important to remember that Disaster Watch is not an emergency alert service: it provides mobile access to available emergency news and information.
The app is a simple one, with a map of Australia that lets you select each State and Territory and then choose Priority messages or All messages; the latter of which might contain non-disaster information. Information is updated every 15 minutes and is drawn from the key authorised Emergency Services websites around Australia.
Apart from allowing you to see what’s going on right across Australia, Disaster Watch lets you keep a set of favourites, which is particularly handy in times of trouble or just if you’re travelling through areas prone to problems.
Each of the seven Action Guides offers varying degrees of advice on how to prepare for and what to do if confronted by that specific type of emergency. Most of it is pretty generic but some of the Guides also have links to specific emergency services and/or other organisations that can provide detailed information and help. You can also email each Guide and the links it contains, which could prove useful in an emergency.
While the app is very handy it also stresses that it alone shouldn’t be relied upon as your sole source of emergency information. It says local radio, TV and other online sources should also be consulted (probably the Federal Government trying to cover itself). In reality, unless they have people on the ground this app is likely to be as good as it gets in keeping you up-to-date on unfolding emergencies in your area. Use it wisely and stay safe!
More information can be found at www.em.gov.au.
For the full article, including photos, download Issue 23 of iMotorhome eMagazine by clicking on the link below.