Public asks questions about cyclone shelter
WHETHER or not pets were permitted and where to park were just some of the questions asked by local residents at Tuesday’s Proserpine Cyclone Shelter public open day.
A total of 25 people attended the multi-purpose facility at the Proserpine State High School (PSHS), to see for themselves how it would look in the event of a natural disaster.
Whitsunday Disaster Management co-ordinator Scott Tellegen said with just 1.2 square metres for each of the 800 people allowed into the shelter, space would certainly be tight. “But it’s only short term,” he said. “It’s not an evacuation centre, it’s for just before the cyclone hits and while it’s unsafe.”
Mayor Jennifer Whitney also re-iterated the shelter should be treated as a last resort.
“You will be much more comfortable sheltering at home or at a friend’s home, which is not in a low-lying area,” she said.
Built for category three storms and above, the shelter contains basic amenities including male, female and disabled toilets. It is kept cool by massive ceiling fans and has a back-up generator and battery bank for emergency power. A total of 40,000 litres of water are stored in the ceiling.
Mr Tellegen said in the event of a cyclone the shelter would be policed and staffed with paramedics and security personnel. A code of conduct and conditions of entry will apply.
About 130 children from Proserpine State High School’s grades 6 and 7 assisted with a cyclone shelter training exercise prior to the public open day.
Mr Tellegen said with the children’s help the cyclone shelter team and emergency services were able to run through the registration process and simulate how the administration would run in a real disaster.
DEMONSTRATION: Proserpine residents Val Nancarrow, Michelle Saint-Martin (left) and Arlene Robertson (right) with Whitsunday mayor Jennifer Whitney and Whitsunday disaster management co-ordinator Scott Tellegen, at the Proserpine Cyclone Shelter open day on Tuesday.