Now is the time to be ready
AS THE Whitsunday region braces for another storm and cyclone season, Whitsunday residents are urged to be prepared. Emergency Management Queensland (EMQ) regional director for central region Robbie Medlin said it was vital that all family members are prepared in the event of a cyclone.
“The region faces severe weather with a volatile season ahead and I urge all households to be prepared,” he said.
“Having an emergency plan is vital for all households as history shows our state has been home to a variety of adverse weather events.
“Knowing what to do in the event of an emergency can make all the difference.”
Mr Medlin said there were four easy steps householders needed to take to make an emergency plan:
- Preparing your Household Emergency Plan
- Preparing your Emergency Kit and Evacuation Kit
- Preparing your Home
- Tune into Warnings
How to prepare your family
Compile a list of emergency phone numbers and keep it somewhere that is visible to all family members.
Nominate an interstate family member or friend to be a point of contact in case you and your family become separated during the cyclone.
Find out if your home is located in an area that could be prone to storm surge or flooding by contacting your local council.
Identify the strongest part of the house (usually the smallest room) and ensure everyone knows where this is in case you need to seek shelter in your home.
Ensure at least one person in your household knows first aid.
Fully fuelled car
First aid kit
Non perishable food
Water proof bags
Special food for infants
Gas cooker with gas
Multiple changes of clothes for everyone in your family stored in watertight plastic bags.
Pillows, sleeping bags and blankets.
Valuables, photos and mementos in watertight plastic bags to ensure they are not damaged in any way.
Extra essential medications.
Extra toiletry and sanitary supplies.
Books and games for children.
Extra baby food, formula and nappies.
Mobile phone, spare battery and charger.
How to prepare your home
Ensure your home and contents insurance covers you for storm surge, flooding and cyclone damage including clean-up and debris removal.
Check the condition of your roof and repair any loose tiles, eaves or roof screws.
Ensure windows are fitted with shutters or metal screens.
Trim any branches overhanging your house and clear gutters of leaves and debris.
Spring clean the area around the house.
Remove rubbish to tip or transfer station.
Mr Medlin said practising a household emergency plan placed residents in good stead when faced with a real emergency.
During the cyclone
Turn off all electricity, gas and water and unplug all appliances
Keep your Emergency Kit close at hand
Bring your family into the strongest part of the house
Keep listening to the radio for cyclone updates and remain indoors until advised
If the building begins to break up, immediately seek shelter under a strong table or bench or under a heavy mattress
Beware of the calm of the eye of the cyclone
After a cyclone
Do not go sightseeing
Check on your neighbours if necessary
Do not use electrical appliances which have been wet until they are checked for safety
Boil or purify your water until supplies are declared safe
Stay away from damaged powerlines, fallen trees and flood water