Be smart, be pre­pared

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

WITH the start of cy­clone sea­son home­own­ers around the Far North are be­ing urged to pre­pare their homes, af­ter the state’s big­gest insurance com­pa­nies re­leased fig­ures of the worst storm-af­fected sub­urbs.

While South Mis­sion Beach was the Far North’s big­gest insurance claimer in the last 12-months, it pays to in­sure your home and build­ing con­tents to en­sure you are pre­pared for any­thing.

The weather bureau has pre­dicted a typ­i­cal sea­son, with up to four cy­clones ex­pected to form over the Coral Sea.

Sun­corp spokes­woman Melissa Cronin said the com­pany han­dled 530 storm­re­lated com­plaints in the Far North in the past 12 months, with 50 in the Cairns re­gion.

‘‘Th­ese fig­ures go to show the fright­en­ing level of dam­age that can be caused by sum­mer storms, and serves as a re­minder to the Far North Queens­land com­mu­nity to get ready and make sure they’re pre­pared for what­ever mother na­ture has in store,’’ she said.

Paul Hoye, act­ing re­gional man­ager for Dou­glas from the Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil, said: ‘‘Our mes­sage is that ev­ery­one needs to get ready for the ‘cy­clone’ sea­son.

‘‘All house­holds need an emer­gency plan, par­tic­u­larly if they are in flood-prone ar­eas or ar­eas vul­ner­a­ble to storm tide,’’ he said.

‘‘Know what storm tide zone your home is lo­cated in, and en­sure all fam­ily mem­bers know where they will go if they need to leave home. ‘‘Ar­range­ments need to be made in ad­vance to stay with friends who live out­side of flood and storm tide ar­eas and peo­ple need to know what they will do with their pets if they are forced to leave their home.

‘‘All res­i­dents need to have an emer­gency kit in their homes which will al­low them to be self-suf­fi­cient, with­out power and wa­ter, for at least three days.

‘‘Neigh­bours need to look af­ter each other and look out for peo­ple in their com­mu­ni­ties such as those who are el­derly, frag­ile or have med­i­cal con­di­tions. Check on each other be­fore and af­ter an event and of­fer as­sis­tance.’’

Res­i­dents are re­minded that as well as tak­ing out insurance they should also pre­pare their homes and keep yards clear of ma­te­ri­als that can be blown around in a cy­clone and have a plan in case you need to leave.

In­for­ma­tion on plan­ning and be­ing pre­pared for nat­u­ral events can be found on Coun­cil’s web­site http:// www. cairns. qld. gov. au/ com­mu­nity- in­for­ma­tion/ cy­clone-emer­gency-in­for­ma­tion or on the Get Ready web­site http:/ /ge­tready.qld.gov.au/

Sun­corp Insurance has joined with the state gov­ern­ment to launch a ‘‘ Get Ready’’ cam­paign, with sem­i­nars held around the state of­fer­ing ad­vice. The sem­i­nars will be held at James Cook Univer­sity to­day at 1pm for the dis­as­ter man­age­ment teams and 5pm.

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