Be ready for when weather turns

Beauty of our re­gion also comes with the dan­ger of wild storms and bush­fires

NewsMail - - STORM AND BUSHFIRE SEASON -

AS BEAU­TI­FUL as our part of the world is, we all know that the com­ing months can bring with them wild storms and the ever present threat of bush­fire.

In con­junc­tion with the re­gion’s emer­gency ser­vices Bund­aberg Re­gional Coun­cil has re­cently launched Get Ready Week.

Bund­aberg Re­gional Coun­cil Dis­as­ter Man­age­ment port­fo­lio spokesper­son Coun­cil­lor David Batt said Get Ready Week was a timely re­minder for all res­i­dents to pack, plan and pre­pare for the pos­si­bil­ity of storms, cy­clones and bush­fire.

“Thou­sands of the re­gion’s res­i­dents live in water­front lo­ca­tions, in­clud­ing the Burnett River, so it is im­por­tant for res­i­dents to be aware of how weather events and sub­se­quent river rises could im­pact their homes,” Cr Batt said.

“In the lead up to storm sea­son all res­i­dents should be pre­pared for any range of weather event, from strong to cy­clonic winds, heavy rain re­sult­ing in flood­ing and storm surge.”

Cr Batt said there was a num­ber of lo­cal­i­ties in the up­per catch­ment area that reg­u­larly be­came iso­lated dur­ing storm sea­son and th­ese res­i­dents had learnt the im­por­tance of be­ing con­stantly pre­pared for the threat of river rises.

“How­ever ma­jor flood­ing and iso­la­tion in the mid­dle to lower catch­ment area re­quires large-scale rain­fall across the en­tire catch­ment.

“Coun­cil is ex­tremely well pre­pared for any event of this scale thanks to the award-win­ning flood map­ping tech­nol­ogy we have at our dis­posal, cou­pled with river and rain gauges which feed into our early warn­ing net­work.

“Res­i­dents can ac­cess the flood-map­ping tech­nol­ogy on coun­cil’s web­site to as­sess their per­sonal flood risk to in­form their evac­u­a­tion plan­ning.

“Pro­vided with this in­for­ma­tion, res­i­dents can man­age their own in­di­vid­ual flood risk.”

The coun­cil’s flood map­ping sys­tem can be ac­cessed at bund­aberg.qld.gov.au/ flood­gaugemaps.

Dur­ing weather events res­i­dents are also en­cour­aged to stay tuned to warn­ings via ra­dio and TV broad­casts and ql­dalert.com and check river and rain­fall con­di­tions at bom.gov.au.

Cr Batt said coastal res­i­dents should be aware of the risk of storm tide in­un­da­tion dur­ing storm sea­son.

“A storm surge is a rise in the ocean level as­so­ci­ated with a cy­clone or East Coast Low and can re­sult in flood­ing, dam­age to build­ings and cut­ting off evac­u­a­tion routes.

“It’s im­por­tant that all coastal res­i­dents make an emer­gency plan for them­selves, their fam­ily and pets and wher­ever pos­si­ble make ar­range­ments to stay with friends and fam­ily on higher ground should an ex­treme weather event un­fold and au­thor­i­ties ad­vise res­i­dents to evac­u­ate the area.”

Cr Batt said while the coun­cil would ac­ti­vate evac­u­a­tion cen­tres based on the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing a spe­cific weather event, res­i­dents, es­pe­cially those with pets, were en­cour­aged to make their own evac­u­a­tion plans.

“Evac­u­at­ing to friends and fam­ily in safer places is the best evac­u­a­tion op­tion as you will be able to have greater con­trol over your per­sonal sit­u­a­tion and be with your loved ones, pets and be­long­ings in a more com­fort­able en­vi­ron­ment.”

Res­i­dents liv­ing in an area that may be im­pacted by bush­fire are re­minded to pre­pare their prop­erty for bush­fire sea­son and fi­nalise evac­u­a­tion plans.

“It’s im­por­tant to have a bush­fire emer­gency house­hold plan and to make sure ev­ery­one in your fam­ily is aware of the plan and the dan­gers posed by bush­fire.

“Ru­ral land­hold­ers in par­tic­u­lar should check their prop­er­ties for fire breaks and en­sure bush­land isn’t en­croach­ing too closely to homes.

“Any res­i­dent who is un­sure about how to un­der­take fire breaks and prop­erty pro­tec­tion should speak to their lo­cal fire bri­gade who can pro­vide ad­vice.”

Queens­land’s Ru­ral Fire Ser­vice rec­om­mends peo­ple liv­ing in bush­fire zones pre­pare a Bush­fire Sur­vival Plan. For more in­for­ma­tion on how to pre­pare your Bush­fire Sur­vival Plan visit ru­ral­fire.qld.gov.au.

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