Time to prepare for bushfires and storms

Published 12:00pm 25 August 2023

Time to prepare for bushfires and storms
Words by Jodie Powell

Living in South East Queensland means knowing to expect wild weather at any moment, and spring is a vital time to prepare for natural disasters with bushfires and storms presenting real threats to the community.

City of Moreton Bay Mayor Peter Flannery says last year the region experienced some of the worst flooding in its history.

“And you don’t have to go back too far to remember the bushfires that ravaged Australia in 2019 and 2020,” he says.

“Now is the time to have your bushfire plans sorted for the current season and have an eye toward preparing for the upcoming storm season so you don’t get caught out.”

Mayor Flannery says September-November is typically bushfire season in the region and this year is expected to be higher risk than usual following three years of a La Nina wet cycle, which has created an abundance of fuel across the region.

Planned burns

Time to prepare for bushfires and storms

“We’re now entering a El Nino cycle which will bring much drier conditions, so it’s a matter of when – not if – that fuel will catch on fire and create a potential threat to our community and natural environment.

“To help counter the threat, Council has been working with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) and all land management stakeholders in our region to execute planned burns that will help protect the community in the event of a bushfire.

“However, it’s important for the whole community to work together to mitigate risk, so Council is actively encouraging residents and business owners to check their bushfire risk and ‘Plan. Prepare. Survive’.”

Mayor Flannery says planning means knowing what you will do in the event of a bushfire by creating an emergency and evacuation plan for your household - including pets and livestock.

People should prepare their properties before bushfire strikes by clearing gutters and debris from the yard, and creating an emergency kit full of essential supplies for when disaster strikes.

“And survive by executing your plan and deciding early on whether to leave or stay to protect your property.

Free alerts

Time to prepare for bushfires and storms

“Sign up for our free Moreton Alert service to ensure you receive relevant warnings of severe weather or bushfires that may threaten your home. This will allow you to keep informed.

“The same principles can be applied to the upcoming storm season over the summer months, with the opportunity being now to prepare your properties and families well in advance and know your survival plan.

“While we don’t yet know how intense the upcoming storm season will be, the potential for heavy rain and flooding always presents a threat to the local community generally from October through until March.

“You can rest assured, knowing that City of Moreton Bay's Disaster Management team recently won the Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authorities Council award for Lessons Management following last year’s devastating floods.”

Mayor Flannery says the team reviewed and analysed 1600 pieces of feedback to help update and improve the region’s disaster management response to continue to keep the community safe using best practice.

“In the event of an emergency, Council’s Disaster Dashboard will have all the key information you’ll need to stay informed, from fire danger ratings and flood gauges to road conditions, evacuation centres and power outages,” he says.

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