March 23, 2010

Are you prepared for a disaster on the Gold Coast?

As the clean-up continues across the Central Queensland coast from Tropical Cyclone Ului, the flow on effects are causing further problems for residents, businesses and tourists including:
  • thousands of homes & businesses are still without power across the Central Queensland coast (60,000 at the height of the cyclone, 24,000 as of last night),
  • without power for pumping stations yesterday, mains water supply was running short in many areas
  • businesses that are trading are often only accepting cash as EFTPOS facilities are offline for many and customers are running out of cash with limited/no ATM's working or banks open,
  • those without mains power (or generators) are likely to have food spoilage with no refrigeration to keep food fresh or frozen,
  • access to fuel supplies are limited as service stations without power cannot pump fuel.

Putting this into perspective, how prepared would you have been if a cyclone or other disaster affected the Gold Coast right now similarly to Tropical Cyclone Ului?

The Gold Coast City Council's disaster management website ( has excellent resources and information on how to be prepared for a disaster event. As a community, our strongest buffer in any disaster is: be informed, be prepared.

Simple ideas include:

The following basic tips regarding getting prepared are from Council's Disaster Management at Home Guide, which is available for download from their website, or printed copies are available from Council offices and libraries.

There are 3 easy steps to plan for an emergency:
  1. Have an emergency plan -
    • List important details and contact numbers of neighbours, family/friends and emergency response agencies to help your family, household or visitors.
    • If you can't get home or in contact with each other, list a meeting place or a contact to leave a message (e.g. neighbour)

  2. During an emergency -
    • Listen to the radio for information and updates
    • Stay at home unless told otherwise
    • Have emergency plan and emergency kit ready
    • Be prepared to look after yourself and family for up to three days

  3. During an evacuation -
    • Take emergency plan and emergency kit
    • Turn off water, electricity (mains supply) and gas (if applicable)

Emergency Information & Contacts:

If a disaster event or emergency does occur on the Gold Coast, your best source for information and updates will be via your local radio station.

Alternate sources of official information include Gold Coast City Council's disaster management website ( for disaster alerts and media releases (pending power & internet are available), or by telephone through Council's Disaster Hotline on 1800 606 000.

If you do find yourself requiring assistance during a disaster for flood or storm emergencies only, contact the State Emergency Service (SES) on 132 500.

For all other or life threatening emergencies, always call Emergency Triple Zero 000.

Take the time now to read through this information, and get your emergency plan and emergency kit ready. Remember: be informed, be prepared.