TLDMG annual training exercise tackles significant rainfall, a tropical cyclone and COVID-19 outbreak

Date published: 16 October 2020

Responding to significant rainfall and a developing tropical cyclone while dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak was the challenge set for the Townsville Local Disaster Management Group’s (TLDMG) annual training exercise today.

TLDMG Chair Jenny Hill said the exercise was vital for preparing for the wet season while also handling any potential COVID outbreaks in the community.

“COVID-19 has meant that our usual preparations for the wet season do need to be adjusted to ensure that we minimise any potential impact of the pandemic on our residents and TLDMG members while we respond to any natural disasters,” Cr Hill said.

“Today, the members of the group worked through a complex exercise that identified several potential hazards including significant rain over the dam catchment, a cyclone forming in the coral sea, and an outbreak of COVID in the community.

“We know that there are no rules when it comes to natural disasters and with La Nina also on the cards, the group wanted to be prepared for the worst case scenario.”

TLDMG Deputy Chair Kurt Rehbein said the exercise was a valuable tool in testing processes and preparing for the future.

“There is no doubt that this season is going to pose some unique challenges for our disaster management group, but that is why this preparation is so crucial,” Cr Rehbein said.

“These exercises bring together individuals from a variety of organisations to ensure that we can respond and protect the community to the best of our abilities.”

The TLDMG includes senior Townsville City Council staff, emergency response agencies, Townsville Hospital and Health Services, Energy Queensland, Townsville Enterprise, and other advisory members such as the defence force, telecommunications, the airport, and the port.