Australians are no strangers to natural disasters. Over the years, our response to these emergency situations has become quicker and more efficient, making use of new equipment and technologies.

Cyclones, floods and bushfires are prime examples of fast-developing emergency situations where cool heads and quick decisions make all the difference.

Having equipment on hand to cope with changing conditions is fundamental during natural disasters. Emergency response equipment can be divided into three types:

  • Traffic redirection
  • Blocking access
  • Conveying information to drivers

Traffic redirection                                                           

As wind shifts alter the direction of a fire front, traffic in its path needs to be redirected, often with very little warning — or none.

Road signs, bollards, flashing beacons and traffic cones are essential for traffic redirection, especially as drivers become fearful and confused. Towable traffic light rigs can regulate two-way traffic flow through a single lane to prevent collisions.

Blocking access

Steel or plastic water-filled barriers block access to dangerous routes during fire or flood emergencies. Having both ready to go gives emergency services a choice.

Electronic signage

A combination of electronic and passive road signage warns drivers of changing conditions and the best routes to take.

Electronic boards with LED lights are ideal for low visibility situations. Programmed remotely, they can convey critical information in real-time.

Kennards Hire Traffic on call

Troy Clauss is Product Manager Traffic Management at Kennards Hire. He says staff are on call 24/7 to deliver equipment to emergency services.

“Our branch number will be diverted to someone’s personal phone and they will answer the call at any hour,” he says.

“We also have containers strategically loaded in certain locations for immediate deployment. These have generators, chainsaws, wet and dry vacuum cleaners — emergency response equipment to be deployed as soon as requested.”

Troy was involved in an emergency response during the 2017 Queensland cyclone season.

“In March, Cyclone Debbie hit Airlie Beach. We set up a pop-up branch to help the local community deal with the disaster.”

Assisting emergency communications

Kennards Hire Traffic uses a sophisticated network of connected smart signs to issue messages about floods and fires to drivers.

During the recent school holidays, the NSW road authority hired electronic boards, putting them along the Pacific Highway with travel time updates and congestion warnings.

 “We also have pole-mounted solar-powered cameras whose signals can be sent to a monitoring hub. We can see in real-time if a causeway is flooded, and update warning signage,” Troy says.

Troy says traffic management staff are proud to supply equipment to emergency services working on containing natural disasters.

Emergency services can count on Kennards Hire. The Traffic branch delivers fast solutions to the frontline of emergency responses across Australia.