THE festive season is upon us and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) is reminding those adventuring outdoors to ensure safety remains a top priority for a memorable break.
QFES Commissioner Katarina Carroll said Queenslanders camping over the summer break should keep fire and storm conditions in mind to avoid the wrath of Mother Nature.
“As the last few weeks have shown, the weather is unpredictable and conditions can quickly change,” Ms Carroll said.
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“Here in Queensland, we often see bushfires burning in one part of the state while thunderstorms roll in another area, and the easiest way to keep unfavourable conditions at bay is to stay informed and always be prepared.
“Before setting off on a great adventure, be sure to check the forecast and if conditions are not up to scratch, reschedule your trip.
“Once out and about, always stay up-to-date by tuning in to the local radio stations or checking online resources.
“Whether it’s fire or storm safety, it is vital to involve everyone in preparations, so be sure to educate even the youngest members of the family about steps to take should you encounter extreme weather conditions.
“Our crews are ready to help out whenever needed, but it’s important to remember that safety is everyone’s responsibility.”
State Emergency Services (SES) Assistant Commissioner Peter Jeffrey said camping and bushwalking were popular choices over the summer break, and urged Queenslanders to enjoy the great outdoors safely.
“While many Queenslanders will take advantage of the warm weather and explore the outdoors, it is vital to be well-prepare before hitting bushwalking tracks,” Mr Jeffrey said.
“Whether you are planning a short walk or a lengthy hike, it is essential to pack the right equipment, including warm clothing, sufficient water and food, and navigational devices.
“Another important consideration for bushwalkers is to have a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) so we can find your location rapidly during an emergency.
“If you are lost and in need of help, you can activate the beacon to notify and alert the appropriate authorities.
“It is always helpful to tell someone where you are and when you are planning on returning, so they know when to expect you back.
“Every year SES volunteers are called on to assist with searches for people missing outdoors, and what we know is that even well-seasoned climbers can become lost or injured.
“The festive season is a time for celebration, and being prepared will ensure you have memorable experience.”