22 October, 2020
Get Ready at Emergency Services Day
Council and emergency services will be on ‘stand by’ on Saturday (31 October) to help residents get ready for the wet season disaster period.
The day will not only include great, practical advice for residents, but showcase the region’s first responders, with the Rescue Helicopter, fire trucks, and aviation fire, police and ambulance vehicles and crews on site.
The Get Ready Emergency Services Day will this year replace the annual Cairns Local Disaster Coordination Day, which has to be put on hold due to COVID-19 requirements.
Chair of the Cairns Local Disaster Management Group Cr Terry James said the La Niħa weather pattern will likely bring prolonged periods of heavy rain and potentially more cyclones this disaster season, making it even more important to be prepared.
“We haven’t had a wide-spread weather emergency in the last couple of years, which is great news, but it can lead to complacency,” Cr James said.
“The La Nina effect means a return to a more ‘traditional’ wet season, where flooding is a real possibility.
“We are also expecting more cyclones to form. Hopefully none will ‘cross the coast’ but they can still bring strong winds and torrential rain.
“I urge everyone to start their preparations now, while the skies are still clear, so they can be prepared for whatever nature throws at us.”
The Get Ready Emergency Services Day will highlight the range of disasters that can impact the region.
As well as flooding, the expected heavy rains can contribute to landslips, which can damage private property as well as public land and roads.
Cairns is also a green city, with areas of bushland throughout the suburbs that will flourish in the prolonged wet season. This however builds up the ‘fuel load’ which means more intense fires if as area was to burn.
“It’s very important that residents recognise these risks and have a plan in place, just in case,” Cr James said.
“And if a disaster hits, supply lines could be cut, roads damaged, and power and phone services could be down, so make sure you have a Household Emergency Kit with enough supplies to be self-sufficient for three days.”
Residents can also find information on being prepared on Council’s website, www.cairns.qld.gov.au/disaster.
They are encouraged to:
- Sign up for Council’s Cairns Alert emergency messaging service to receive critical emergency information, such as evacuation advice, via text message, www.cairns.qld.gov.au/cairnsalert
- Bookmark the Cairns Disaster Dashboard, which collates real time information from Council, the Bureau of Meteorology, road closures, power and phone outages, and includes storm surge zones and evacuation routes, and the location of shelters if they are needed
- Follow the Cairns Disaster Centre Facebook page, for information and advice before, during and after any weather emergency.