The volcano that hit Bali last month. Picture: AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati.

Picture the following scenarios. You’re on a road trip through Florida and a cyclone suddenly becomes a hurricane. 

You’re building sandcastles on the beach and a tsunami hits. You’re hiking in Indonesia and a volcano erupts. These are just some of the scenarios that can take place when a natural disaster strikes. 

Last week’s eruption of Mount Agang has prompted many travellers to plan ahead for natural disasters. 

Carlos Luis, Flight Centre Travel Group Supplier Relationship Leader, shares 9 ways to handle a natural disaster when you are on holiday.

1. Listen to the local news to stay informed about warnings.
2. Find out how communities, towns and cities warn residents about a natural disaster, e.g. sirens.
3. Only return to your hotel when the authorities say it is safe to do so.
4. Take care to avoid damaged infrastructure, e.g. bridges that were previously flooded, fallen power lines during an earthquake or damaged buildings.
5. Identify ahead of time where you could go if you’re told to evacuate and carry the telephone numbers of these places, as well as directions and a road map of your locality as you may need to take alternative routes if roads are closed.
6. Pack a grab bag if you have to move at short notice, which should include:
* A torch with extra batteries.
*First-aid kit, including prescription medication.
* Bottled water and snacks.
*. Battery-operated radio.
*Map.
*Small amount of cash in small denomination bills.
* Photocopies of your essential documents in a watertight container or bag, including passport, visa, driver’s license, travel insurance.
*Knife or multi-tool (this should be packed in your checked luggage.
*Whistle.
7. Register with your embassy or with ROSA (Registration of South Africans
Abroad), a software programme developed by the Department of International
Relations and Cooperation allowing travellers to register online.
8. Consult your medical provider prior to travel regarding appropriate vaccinations
and potential health and medical challenges in the area.
9. Reconfirm your flight as airports may have been affected and might still be closed. Confirm the status of your route between airport and your destination.