Residents reminded to prepare for disaster season

Date published: 13 December 2021

Tropical Cyclone Ruby’s formation in the north-eastern Coral Sea yesterday is a timely reminder for the community to act to finalise their preparations for this year’s disaster season, if they haven’t already.

The Bureau of Meteorology has advised that TC Ruby will have no direct impact on the Australian mainland, however Townsville Local Disaster Management Group (TLDMG) chairperson and Mayor Jenny Hill said the system’s formation signalled the start of disaster season for the north.

“The Bureau of Meteorology tells us that we are in a La Niña weather cycle, which means there is the potential for it to be wetter than average, with an increased risk of tropical cyclones, heavy rainfall and widespread flooding,” Cr Hill said.

“The best time to prepare for a potential natural disaster is now, not when a cyclone is barrelling towards the coast or heavy rains have started to fall.”

Cr Hill said being prepared started with making sure your emergency kit was well stocked.

“Your emergency kit needs to include enough supplies for you and your family to survive for at least three days,” she said.

“What residents need during a disaster event will vary depending on the circumstance of each family.

“Council has made a checklist available on its website as a good starting point for what you may need.”

Cr Hill said it was also important to clean up around the yard.

“Taking some simple precautions now will help to protect you, your family and your home during a disaster,” she said.

“Doing things like cleaning out your downpipes and gutters, trimming trees, removing anything that could become an airborne missile and knowing how to turn off gas, water and electricity are some of the steps people can take to be disaster ready.

“Now is also a good time to check your insurance policy is current and know what you are covered for.

“Council’s website and the Disaster Dashboard is full of helpful information on getting disaster prepared and I urge residents to brush up on information before the wet season.

“We want our community to be informed and be safe in the event of any disasters over the coming months, and with COVID-19 thrown in the mix, this preparation is more vital than ever.”

For more information and to see a checklist for things to include in an emergency kit, visit Council’s website here.

Residents can also visit Townsville’s Disaster Dashboard.