Be smart, be prepared
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.