Queenslanders urged to prepare for extreme weather

The Queensland resources sector is being urged to prepare for disaster season and the wide range of extreme weather events that can impact the state including bushfires, storms, floods and cyclones.

Get Ready Queensland Week (October 10-16) was launched this week in conjunction with the Bureau of Meteorology’s Severe Weather Outlook.

Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Mark Ryan said Queenslanders have shown in the past 18 months how well we they work together responding to COVID-19 and should do the same ahead of disaster season.

“The global pandemic has challenged us like never before, but I believe it’s because of the Queensland spirit that frequently shines brightest in times of emergency that has helped us through these tough times,” Ryan said.

“Queensland has been hit by almost 90 significant natural disasters and weather events in the past decade leaving a recovery and reconstruction bill of more than $16.8 billion.

“But we always get through them, digging deep and working shoulder to shoulder as communities recover from these events.”

Bureau of Meteorology senior meteorologist Laura Boekel said Queenslanders should keep up to date with the latest warnings and forecasts on the Bureau’s website and the BOM Weather smartphone app.

“We want people to ‘know your weather, know your risk’ – and that means understanding not just what kind of severe weather can impact the area you live in, but the hazards associated with it and what you need to do to avoid getting hurt,” Boekel said.

“There are on average four cyclones every season in the Eastern cyclone zone of Australia – but all Queenslanders must remember that it takes just one to cause devastation from damaging winds, heavy rainfall and tidal surges.

“Localised major flooding can occur in any northern wet season, but in 2021-22, there is an increased risk of widespread and prolonged riverine flooding across eastern and northern Queensland.

“While long-running large bushfires are less likely than during dry years such as 2019-20, continuing wet conditions during spring may further increase grass growth, which could increase fire danger as it dries during summer.

“The Bureau is Australia’s most trusted source of weather information with a national network of expertise, technology – including radars, automatic weather stations, satellites and computer modelling – and robust partnerships with emergency services, organisations such as the QRA, and all local councils to help keep all communities safer.”

Queensland mining operations should have action plans in place to prepare for the possibility of an extreme weather event.

Plans must include ways of identifying and warning potentially affected persons of the onset of severe weather events, a system of evacuation or moving people to a place of safety and the necessary actions to be taken when risk is not within acceptable limits.

Senior site executives should also ensure the site and equipment is properly prepared to minimise risk.

The natural disaster action plans should span events such as cyclones and storm surges, severe storms, flooding and bushfires.

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