When travelling in remote, or even rural areas, Australians are well aware that the mobile phone coverage is patchy at best. No matter what company you use – all phones will make emergency calls on any network that is available. The problem is that the mobile phone signal only covers about a quarter of the Australian landmass.
One of the most preventable reasons for people dying in the Australian outback is not due to snake bite, or injury. It is commonly due to their vehicle suffering mechanical breakdown or becoming bogged. It is at this point that people panic, and leave their vehicle in an attempt to get rescued.
Your vehicle provides shelter, and you should have water and food supplies with you. Your vehicle also provides an easy target for rescuers to spot from the air, meaning that when a search is commenced, you are easier to find. Unfortunately time and again, people leave their vehicle in an attempt to raise an alarm and get rescued.
The most important thing is to have a communication plan in place. It can be as simple as leaving an itinerary with a responsible person with an agreed process to follow if you fail to make contact by an agreed time, to a range of equipment that can alert authorities of your position and the nature of your distress.
A simple breakdown should not cost you your life.
It is essential that you consider your remote communication plan, and Save Our Selves – A guide to getting help in remote areas can help you do just that.
If broken down – you should be able to arrange assistance – and get rescued!