Are you travelling in Europe this year? If you’re heading to the southern part of the continent, it’s worth being aware of the changing climate and conditions in this region. The weather here has become increasingly unpredictable, creating challenges for campers – in some cases, holidaymakers have been caught off guard.

While a camping adventure in beautiful Southern Europe is a dream for many outdoor enthusiasts, it’s important that you’re alert to some of the more common natural accidents that you might encounter while travelling here. It’s also essential that you’re prepared before you set off. Taking out cover such as motorhome insurance and double checking you have a health policy in place are just some examples of how you can get peace of mind.

Here are some more tips to help you prepare for adverse conditions.

 Local wildlife encounters

You might encounter diverse wildlife while in Southern Europe. While these moments can be awe-inspiring, campers need to be aware of potential risks.

Simple precautions, such as securely storing food and rubbish, can help prevent unwanted visits from wildlife. Understanding the behaviour of local animals and respecting their habitat ensures you and your party can keep safe while you’re around wildlife. Research the animals you might meet on your travels before you set off and speak to local rangers and other experts in the area to ensure you’re following official guidance.

Sudden weather changes

Southern Europe is known for its diverse climates, but rapid weather changes can catch campers off guard. Flash floods and storms are common occurrences, especially during certain seasons. In summer 2023, there were floods in Serbia, Kosovo and Romania and these flash floods are becoming increasingly common in southern countries across Europe.

It’s crucial for campers to keep up with local weather forecasts and be prepared for sudden shifts in weather conditions. Carrying waterproof gear, securing tents properly, and having an emergency evacuation plan can make all the difference if you suddenly encounter a shift in the weather conditions.

Wildfire hazards

Southern Europe faces dry seasons, increasing the risk of wildfires. Last July, Greece saw fires tear across the country, only for them to return a month later.

Follow fire safety guidelines, avoiding open flames during high-risk periods, and make sure you keep a safe distance from potentially flammable areas. Familiarising yourself with local regulations and staying alert to any fire warnings is also essential for preventing and responding to wildfire hazards.

While these pose a risk, especially during the dry weather, following guidance can keep you all safe.

Earthquake awareness

Certain areas in Southern Europe are prone to earthquakes, and campers must be prepared for seismic activity. Choosing stable camping spots away from potential hazards, securing heavy objects in the camping area, and having an emergency plan in place are essential measures.

If you’re staying in country that’s known for earthquakes or one that’s experienced earthquakes recently, there will be safety guidelines in place, so be sure to follow these whether there’s an increased risk when you’re there or not. Also keeping a basic emergency kit can be useful.

Heatwaves

There have been scorching heatwaves across Europe during the summer months, especially in recent years. If you’re camping, you’ll need to introduce strategies to cope with extreme temperatures, such as staying hydrated, taking breaks in shaded areas, and using proper sun protection.

Recognising the signs of heat-related illnesses and knowing when to get medical help is also vital for keeping safe in the warmer weather.

While Europe is a captivating continent, it’s important that you carefully plan for any hazards that could crop up while you’re travelling.

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