Disaster guide earns national communication award!

Cairns Regional Council’s evacuation strategy has been recognised as an example of outstanding communication with the public on issues of natural disaster.

At the Government Communications Australia Awards in Melbourne, Cairns Regional Council received the award for Best Emergency or Crisis Communications Initiative.

The evacuation strategy consists of the full mapping of storm tide evacuation zones and subsequent communication of evacuation information via published guides, online mapping with property search feature and social media outlets.

“We are the first Council in Queensland to complete a full evacuation strategy and this was acknowledged in Melbourne,” said Council’s Infrastructure Services General Manager Ross McKim.

“A huge amount of work has gone on behind the scenes to establish the storm tide data. By communicating the outcomes to the public, we are now more prepared than ever for a natural disaster.”

A full suite of disaster preparation guides has now been published by Council, with both online and hard copies available.

As well as the Storm Tide Evacuation Guide, Council has produced a Cyclone Preparation Guide that is accessible by people with varying communication needs. This includes guides in a range of languages, a video for hearing-impaired people and an easy-read guide using simple language and diagrams.

Council CEO Lyn Russell congratulated the staff involved in developing the range of disaster preparation tools and the expertise that had gone into taking important messages to the residents of the Cairns region.

“We live in a tropical climate and that means we need to be prepared for tropical weather conditions – this can include cyclones, storm surge and flooding,” Ms Russell said.

“Council has an ongoing role in educating people about the risks associated with natural disasters and providing the tools to help people to be prepared and to make decisions relating to evacuation.”

Disaster preparation guides, checklists and other relevant information are available via Council’s website www.cairns.qld.gov.au



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