Community urged to prepare for cyclone season

Residents in the Cairns region are urged to start sensible preparations in line with the simple message 'Plan Pack Listen', the slogan for the pre-wet season public cyclone awareness campaign.

With Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) predictions for a hotter and wetter than normal wet season, Cairns Regional Council is sending a clear message to each householder to prepare an emergency plan, pack an emergency kit and stay informed. 

Mayor Val Schier said the region’s preparedness would hinge on every family making an effort to be ready for the coming cyclone season.

“The Bureau has warned that in the current La Nina weather pattern, rainfall has increased and the ocean temperature is hotter than normal, Cr Shier said.

"Both could lead to increased cyclonic activity. We know that being prepared is the key to safety and survival.

“Council plays an integral lead role in the Local Disaster Management Group and is central to all efforts should a cyclone hit.

"However, we count on everyone to be prepared and have an escape plan that includes each household member," she said.

Historically four major cyclonic storms occur in the average cyclone season. This year the BOM has predicted at least six.

Council staff will attend the BOM official season outlook forum tomorrow in Innisfail to gain up to date practical information relating to local and regional issues.

“The new Disaster Coordination Centre is in the last stages of completion in Woree," Cr Shier said.

"It is the first of its type in Queensland and will provide us with a place to focus our rescue and recovery efforts should disaster strike.

“However, during the cyclone season it is necessary that the community be in a state of alert and be well prepared.”

Council provides up to date disaster information on its website including announcements, road closures, media messages and storm surge mapping.

Last year social networking tools Facebook and Twitter were added to the suite of tools used to inform the public.

Council encourages all resident to prepare before cyclone season begins:

  • Prepare an emergency plan with the involvement of all household members
  • Check family emergency kit is ready and nearby
  • Make arrangements for pets
  • Those living in storm surge or flood areas should arrange a place to stay with friends in higher places, in the case of advice to evacuate
  • Prepare residential property by trimming trees and tidying gardens
  • Check insurance policies are current and provide adequate cover