TLDMG meet for Exercise Atlantis

Date published: 21 November 2023

The Townsville Local Disaster Management Group (TLDMG) has been put through its paces responding to a significant weather event impacting the city.

It was all part of the TLDMG annual disaster exercise at the Local Disaster Coordination Centre (LDCC) to help agencies hone their skills in preparation for a real disaster impacting the region.

This year’s exercise, Exercise Atlantis, involved preparing for a severe tropical cyclone and responding to the Ross River Dam overtopping following significant rainfall from the ex-tropical cyclone. The rainfall amounts exercised were up to three times the amount experienced in the monsoon event in 2019.

Townsville Mayor and TLDMG Chair Jenny Hill said it was an opportunity to ensure everyone was on the same page in coordinating the response to a major event like this.

“Training exercises like this are vital in helping the TLDMG prepare for and respond to natural disasters,” Cr Hill said.

“Our region is no stranger to natural disasters, and its important members from the TLDMG and other agencies take part in regular training.

“Today’s session included representatives from Council, Queensland Police Service, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, Townsville Hospital and Health Service, Bureau of Meteorology, defence representatives, communication experts and evacuation specialists to name a few.

“Exercise Atlantis was another opportunity for everyone to brush up on their skills on communicating important information to the public, decision making processes, information sharing between agencies, evacuation planning, and determining recovery priorities for our community based on the scenario.

“Representatives from the Department of Regional Development Manufacturing and Water (Dam Regulators) were here to witness our TLDMG in action with the scenario they were faced with.”

Cr Hill said this was part of the preparation carried out by the TLDMG heading into the high-risk weather period.

“The group goes through a number of steps each year to ensure we’re well prepared ahead of the high-risk weather season, including testing our dam gates, reviewing and updating our emergency response plan and procedures, undertaking disaster exercises and training, doing stocktakes of our emergency kits and preparing all Council offices, depots and facilities for high-risk weather events,” she said.

“What we need is for residents across the city to be just as prepared by making an emergency plan for yourself and your family, having an emergency kit that is stocked and ready to go, preparing your home and planning for your pets”.

“By preparing in advance, our community will be in the best position come the high-risk weather season.”

For more information on how to prepare for the high-risk weather season, visit Disaster Management.