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Preparing for the Cyclone Season

clock21st October 2016

Every year between November and April, the coastal regions of Queensland are at risk of being hit by cyclones. A cyclone is a violent storm characterized by high winds rotating around a calm centre that can produce winds in excess of 200 km/h.

These strong winds can cause extensive damage to property and turn debris into dangerous missiles.

Before the cyclone season:

  • Check that the walls, roof and eaves of your home are secure.
  • Trim treetops and branches well clear of your home (get Council or Body Corporate permission).
  • Clear your property of loose material that could blow about and possibly cause injury or damage during extreme winds.
  • Know your nearest safe high ground and the safest access route to it incase of flooding.
  • Keep a list of emergency phone numbers on display and make yourself known to your neighbours.

Prepare an emergency kit containing:

  •  A portable battery radio, torch and spare batteries.
  • Water containers, dried or canned food and a can opener.
  • Matches, fuel lamp, portable stove, cooking gear, eating utensils.
  • A first aid kit and manual, masking tape for windows and waterproof bags.

If there is a cyclone – when a cyclone warning is issued:

  • Park vehicles under solid shelter (hand brake on). 
  • Put wooden or plastic outdoor furniture in your pool or inside with other loose items.
  • Close shutters or board-up or heavily tape all windows. Draw curtains and lock doors.
  • Pack an evacuation kit of warm clothes, essential medications,  valuables, important papers, photos and mementos in waterproof bags to be taken with your emergency kit.
  • Large/heavy valuables could be protected in a strong cupboard.
  • Remain indoors (with your pets). Stay tuned to your local radio/TV for further information.

On warning of local evacuation:

Based on predicted wind speeds and storm surge heights, evacuation may be necessary. Official advice will be given on local radio/TV regarding safe routes and when to move.

  •  Wear strong shoes (not thongs) and tough clothing for protection.
  •  Lock doors; turn off power, gas, and water; take your evacuation and emergency kits.
  •  If evacuating inland (out of town), take pets and leave early to avoid heavy traffic, flooding and wind hazards.
  •  If evacuating to a public shelter or higher location, follow Police and State/Territory Emergency Services directions.
  •  If going to a public shelter, take bedding needs and books or games for children.
  •  Leave pets protected and with food and water.

Tune in, log on, listen out, act:

Tune in:

To your local radio and TV station to listen for warnings and weather updates and local community safety announcements.
Log on:

  • To the Bureau of Meteorology ( http://www.bom.gov.au/ ) for weather warnings.
  • To the Queensland Disaster Management home page ( http://www.disaster.qld.gov.au/ ) – on this site – for information on disaster events.
  • To your Council website ( http://www.qldcouncils.com.au/ ) for local information on the emergency, information on evacuation centres and evacuation routes, information on assistance after a disaster event.

Listen out:

  • For the Standard Emergency Warning Signal (SEWS) – the siren sound used at the beginning of serious warnings on radio and television. Pay careful attention to the message that follows SEWS and act immediately on the advice given.
  • For Emergency Alert voice messages to your landline and text messages to your mobile telephone.
  • For sirens and loud-hailer announcements that Emergency Services may use.
  • For Emergency Services personnel who may door-knock your local area to pass on warnings.

Act:

  • Act quickly on the advice provided.
  • Ensure all householders are aware of the warning and advice provided.
  • Check on neighbours and friends who may need special assistance.
  • Activate your Emergency Plan and locate your Emergency Kit.
  • Activate your evacuation arrangements if required.

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