Be ready for when weather turns
Beauty of our region also comes with the danger of wild storms and bushfires
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.