Redlands Coast residents are urged to ensure they are prepared ahead of this year’s storm and bushfire season.
Redland City Mayor and Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) Chair Karen Williams said Get Ready Queensland Week, from 10-14 October, aimed to raise awareness about being prepared for extreme weather events and disasters.
“The idea behind this statewide initiative is the importance of being proactive ahead of the late spring and summer season which can bring devastating weather events and conditions conducive to bushfires and severe storms,” Cr Williams said.
“This message has never been more important, with the Bureau of Meteorology predicting above-average rainfall for spring and possibly into summer.
“The extreme weather event from earlier this year is no doubt still in people’s minds, when record rainfall of 850mm was recorded on Redlands Coast over 10 days from late February.
“We certainly don’t want to see a repeat of that scenario, but Council and our Local Disaster Management Group are both ready in case we do.
“It’s important that everyone on Redlands Coast starts to get ready now so we are well placed to handle anything this upcoming season throws at us.”
Cr Williams said the Get Ready campaign could be broken down to three simple steps – understand your risk, prepare a household emergency plan and pack an emergency kit.
To help residents find out what they can do to prepare for storms and bushfires, Council is partnering with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services and the State Emergency Service to run a series of storm and bushfire information sessions.
This includes a session on storm awareness in Wellington Point on 5 October and storm and bushfire awareness on Russell Island on 5 November. More information, including how to register for the sessions, is available at eventbrite.com.au
Cr Williams said Council also maintained a dedicated Redlands Coast Disaster Dashboard that provided practical information on preparing for, responding to and recovering from disaster.
“This website is continually updated during a disaster with vital information on road closures, emergency contacts, Energex power outages, active evacuation centres and weather warnings.
“Council also has an opt-in emergency notification messaging service which is an important part of our disaster and emergency communications.
“About 1600 residents are subscribed to this free service, and I encourage you to opt in during Get Ready Queensland Week.
“During the February/March weather event, Council sent 12,777 notifications via email and 4410 via SMS, covering weather warnings, community alerts and flooded road notifications.”
Tips to prepare your home:
- Clean gutters and downpipes so stormwater can drain quickly, but don’t use a high-pressure water blaster on asbestos roofs
- Secure loose items around your property and garden (sheets of tin, trampolines)
- Have tarps available to use with sandbags if you are in an area prone to flooding
- Trim trees and overhanging branches around your property (check with Council first and be mindful of power lines)
- Install metal screens or shutters to prepare your home against embers
- Ensure LPG cylinder relief valves point away from the house to minimize fire risk
- Make sure pumps or generators are working and ready if needed
Tips to make a household emergency plan
- Prepare an emergency kit with essentials such as medications, legal papers, first aid, a battery-operated radio, batteries, pet food, money and a torch
- Have a good supply of bottled water readily available
- Identify a safe place to shelter in a storm or to evacuate to in a bushfire and decide how you’d look after your pets
- Decide whether to go early or stay and defend in bushfire situations
- Make sure everyone in your household knows your emergency plan
- Know your neighbours as they can be a source of support during emergencies
More information on how to prepare yourself, your home and your business for a disaster is available in the Redland City Disaster Management Plan on Council’s website.