Lord Mayor strengthens city’s disaster response capabilities
Thursday, 29 August 2013
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk is today launching the 2013 ‘prepare for summer storm season’ campaign; inspecting Council’s latest resources to help residents prepare for seasonal hazards.
The Lord Mayor toured the new SES depot currently under construction in Anstead and unveiled new instructional disaster preparedness videos and updated flood information tools.
“South East Queensland is renowned for its subtropical climate, which means our city is prone to unpredictable severe weather and natural disasters, including flash flooding, storms and bushfires,” Cr Quirk said.
“We know all too well the effects of severe weather and it’s important we invest significantly in helping to protect our city and encourage a resilient and prepared community.
“This year we are strengthening our disaster response preparations to include a new SES depot in Brisbane’s west, along with making available a range of new tools to ensure no one becomes complacent about the dangers of winds, hail, heavy rain, flash flooding and bushfires.”
Cr Quirk said Brisbane had seen time and time again just how severe weather can be in SEQ.
“With memories of this year’s Australia Day storms and the 2011 floods still lingering in people’s minds, it’s crucial for everyone to take the necessary steps to prepare and protect their family, pets and property from severe weather,” he said.
“These events also demonstrate just how vital it is for Council to be well resourced when responding to emergencies, which is exactly why we are building this new $2.29 million SES depot in Brisbane’s west.
“Its location is also particularly important, given it will provide vital resources to the community within the western suburbs and if the area was to become isolated the depot could act as self-sufficient recovery centre for residents.”
Cr Quirk said Council had already undertaken 14 hazard reduction burns to prepare for the bushfire season, with the latest scheduled for today at Drewvale.
“So far we have burnt about 238 hectares of ground this season, which is 31 hectares more than what we were able to undertake last year,” he said.
Cr Quirk said Council had also evolved its flood information tools to include updated information to help residents and businesses understand their flood risk.
“Council is committed to taking an all-hazards approach to reducing the impact of severe weather and we aim to increase community resilience through making easily-accessible information and tools available to residents,” he said.
“We have also unveiled three new instructional videos on preparing your home for severe weather, how to correctly use sandbags and preparing a household emergency kit, which have been sub-titled in Korean, Arabic, Chinese and Vietnamese.” Page 1 of 2
Cr Quirk said severe storms could result in property damage, flooding, power outages, and isolation due to floodwaters and debris and encouraged residents to prepare:
• Clean up the yard. Trim tree branches clear of the house, clean gutters and downpipes of leaf litter, and check their roof and skylights are in good condition.
• Secure loose items. If a storm is approaching, make sure to secure any loose items in the yard such as toys and outdoor furniture so they don’t become dangerous.
• Shelter and secure pets, and put vehicles under cover if possible or cover with blankets.
• Ensure valuables are stored up high, if flooding is likely to affect your property.
• Prepare an emergency kit. This should contain a torch, portable radio, spare batteries, first aid kit, emergency contact numbers and important documents such as insurance papers.
• Take advantage of Free Green Waste weekends – 21-22 September and 5-6 October.
• Sign up to Council’s Early Warning Alert Service on Council’s website, which will notify residents of any urgent emergency alerts that may potentially affect their residential address via email, SMS, and/or home phone.
For more information on preparing for storm season, visit www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/beprepared or phone Council on 3403 8888.