Is­lan­ders told to get cy­clone plan

Townsville Bulletin - - Talk Of North - By SELINA SHAR­RATT

MAG­NETIC Is­land res­i­dents will need to fend for them­selves in an event of a lo­cal dis­as­ter such as a cy­clone.

The Townsville and Thuringowa lo­cal dis­as­ter man­age­ment group have urged Mag­gie res­i­dents to ‘seek friends in higher places’, in the event of a cy­clone.

The is­land does not have any cy­clone shel­ters and, be­cause of its ex­po­sure to the sea, would be at a greater risk if a cy­clone pro­duced a storm tide.

Mag­netic Is­land Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Lorna Hemp­stead said it was a ‘pity’ no dis­as­ter man­age­ment plan ex­isted for is­land res­i­dents.

‘‘I think it’s a pity they are not ar­tic­u­lated well in ad­vance in or­der for peo­ple to know what hap­pens in any one of half-a-dozen sce­nar­ios,’’ Ms Hemp­stead said.

Townsville Mayor and Townsville Thuringowa Lo­cal Dis­as­ter Man­age­ment Group chair­man Tony Mooney said is­land res­i­dents should make sure they have a plan.

‘‘If you’re in a low-ly­ing area and you can’t evac­u­ate to the main­land, you re­ally need to seek safety with friends and fam­ily on higher ground,’’ Cr Mooney said.

Ms Hemp­stead said the dis­as­ter man­age­ment group should ‘as­sist’ is­land res­i­dents in mak­ing a suit­able plan.

‘‘What I un­der­stand is that res­i­dents in flood-prone — not storm-surge — ar­eas have had let­ters sent to them in­di­vid­u­ally (in­form­ing them) that they are in a flood-prone area,’’ she said.

‘‘Now that’s ter­rific. But it doesn’t re­ally warn peo­ple what the pre­dic­tions are for storm surge. Nor does it say to, for ex­am­ple, beach-front peo­ple, ‘ in this sce­nario you need to do this, in an­other sce­nario you need to do that’ . . . but to some ex­tent we must be ready to fend for our­selves.’’

The dis­as­ter man­age­ment group did of­fer some ad­vice to res­i­dents.

‘‘Don’t leave it to the last minute,’’ Cr Mooney said.

‘‘Not pre­par­ing for cy­clones is a real recipe for dis­as­ter.’’

Cr Mooney said res­i­dents liv­ing within three blocks of the wa­ter­front may be vul­ner­a­ble in the event of a storm tide.

‘‘Un­til a cy­clone ac­tu­ally ap­proached the coast, it’s dif­fi­cult to know how high a tidal surge could be,’’ Cr Mooney said.

‘‘What we do know, how­ever, is that it’s likely to move very quickly be­cause of the sheer force and in­ten­sity of the wind as­so­ci­ated with cy­clones and that’s why peo­ple re­ally need to think ahead be­fore it’s too late.’’

Cr Mooney said each home should have a dis­as­ter plan in place and should also pre­pare an emer­gency sur­vival kit.

The kit should in­clude such sup­plies as wa­ter in plas­tic con­tain­ers, non-per­ish­able food items, a first-aid kit, bat­ter­ies, can­dles, cloth­ing and bed­ding.

Cr Mooney said pet food and med­i­ca­tion should also be in­cluded.

‘‘We saw the dev­as­tat­ing ef­fect that Cy­clone Larry had on In­n­is­fail and sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ties,’’ he said. ‘‘Those images are still very raw and stand as a stark re­minder of the havoc a cy­clone can wreak and why we can’t af­ford to be com­pla­cent at any point.’’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.