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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Tragedy in Arkansas Campground - how can you protect yourself as campers

Oh such a tragedy!   At that campground in Arkansas....  so sad all those campers and tenters were asleep when the floodwaters hit.  Many of the tents were down on a low area on a bend in the river and could not even get back up the hill to where their cars were parked.....

Some of the rv lists were discussing it and here are a few thoughts...

- many campgrounds are located close to water in low lying areas, with only ONE road out, which could easily be blocked by floods, mud slides or forest fires, know your area and think ahead of escape routes

- realize gullies and arroyos and sand bars along riverbanks were MADE by rushing waters, and could very well be filled up again in no time, so don't camp in them, even if they are dry at the moment.

- get a weather radio that runs off batteries, not just for boondocking, but as you may have power outages even in a campground with hookups, no power means no reports via weather radio or television

- keep a printed off copy of the NOAA codes for all counties where you might be travelling through, to program your radio to, otherwise you may get NOAA reports for places 100 or more miles away...  that don't apply to your area
- most of all, make sure your weather radio is ON overnight!

We have 2 weather radios, one at home and one in the rig.  That way we never ever forget to take it along. The one in the rig is a rechargeable battery and the one at home has a battery backup.  


  1. You are so right, I even bought two Motorola FRS/GMRS walkie talkies for the camper that run off AA rechargeable batteries and have a charger stand just like the Motorola's we had on the police department, we always have spare AA's and even if the power goes off and the charger wouldn't work they would be usuable, Now that Adam is eight he takes a radio and Grandpa has one, and if he is playing with friends he knows when he is changing a location to check in with Grandpa and that I will be checking on him making him accountable. I also hve the weather radio and my scanners for police and railroad frequencies si sometimes the trailer sounds like apolice station. I too scout out our locations for chances of flash flood and don't even go if there is rain of any amount forcasted. just to nuch of a chance to be in harm's way. We lerned a lot from the flood of 93 and also my time in the Navy that nothing stops water. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

  2. All of those are excellent points. We have a NOAA weather radio, always equipped with batteries (we've carried it into the shelter with us during a tornado warning), but we have been in spots where we cannot pick up a signal. It has happened at least a couple of times, always in a fairly narrow canyon, just the kind of place likely to flood. In that case, all you can do is BE AWARE if it starts to rain hard.

    The disaster in Arkansas is just heartbreaking.

  3. Thanks for the website link. It's good to have handy.

  4. What an awful tragedy this was! Thanks for giving us the link to NOAA. Mike and I have put off purchasing a weather radio but now it is top on our list of things to get this coming week.

    We will keep these families in our prayers.

    Mike & Gerri (happytrails)

  5. A great blog we should all read. We camped for 1 week at Gilham Arkansas... think the CG name was Reefs something..Great spot, no cell service and a river right there. Nearest town was DeQueen...They blew a siren when they let water in or out of the dam...pretty scary!

  6. Good advice. I was so sad when I saw a pile up of big RVs and a Fifth wheel down in a gully of the rushing river. These were not just tent campers in rough areas.

  7. Such timely advice and information. Thanks for sharing it, Karen.

  8. Good advice. I keep a close weather eye out based on my Coast Guard training. With today's technology, it gives you a leg up on incoming storms.

    But to be sure, I have a weather radio, too, with the battery backup.

  9. Karen, my family lives in AR and has camped in that very campground many, many times!! So very sad that all those people lost their lives.


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