Simple steps to survive Cairns cyclone season!
Plan, pack, listen.
These are the three words that every Cairns region resident should keep in mind heading into a new cyclone season.
“The cyclone season officially starts tomorrow and the big wet won’t be far behind. That means everyone needs to be giving serious consideration to their disaster preparedness,” Cr Pyne said.
“A long dry spell can tend to lull us into a sense of security but we know that conditions can change very quickly.
“Now is the time to plan your household’s response to a natural disaster. If you can’t stay at home, where will you go? Pack your emergency kit with all the items you might need during and after a cyclone or flood.
“And if a natural disaster does threaten, listen to the latest advice – stay informed and alert to the situation at hand.”
Every household should have adequate supplies of food, water, medication, toiletries and other essential items to last a minimum of three days – longer for homes in areas that are subject to isolation through flooding.
Local Disaster Management Group chair Cr Steve Brain said preparations had been going on behind the scenes for some time to ensure relevant services were ready for the upcoming wet season.
Cr Brain said the completion of two new public storm tide cyclone shelters had given the group extra confidence but stressed that the centres should not be taken for granted by residents.
“No one should include a public shelter in their household emergency plans,” Cr Brain said.
“These centres exist only as a place of last resort for someone who lives in a storm tide inundation zone and has no other option. They are not designed to be comfortable; there will be no beds, no entertainment, no luxuries at all.
“What they will provide is life-saving shelter in the event of a storm tide for people who are unable to get to any other safe location.
“People also need to keep in mind that they if they come to a shelter and they live outside the storm tide inundation zone, they are likely to be turned away.
“In most cases, the safest thing to do in a cyclone is to shelter in place – that is to stay at home and ride it out with your family.”
Residents are advised to check if they are in a potential storm tide inundation zone and, if so, arrange with family, friends or colleagues to stay with them in the event of a cyclone.
“It’s easy to find out if you are in a storm tide zone. The first and simplest action is to check your electrical meter box. If there is a red, orange or yellow sticker, your property is at risk of storm tide inundation,” Cr Brain said.
Units and buildings other than free-standing homes may not have a sticker.
Storm tide mapping and an interactive property search is available on Council’s website to further identify at-risk properties.
Also on Council’s website is a range of cyclone and natural disaster resources, including a guide for developing a household plan, emergency checklist, information brochures in languages other than English, as well as Auslan, Braille and audio formats. Information brochures printed in Braille are available by contacting Council.
Visit http://www.cairns.qld.gov.au/disaster for more information about preparing for the cyclone and wet season.