With bush fire season soon to wrap up and storm season on the way, the Gold Coast’s Disaster Centre is a hive of activity and locals are being told to get ready.
A coordinated group involving emergency services, city officers and Mayor Tate himself consistently monitor weather conditions and potential disaster threats, so that the Gold Coast community can always be properly informed.
On site technology can predict which homes and buildings would be effected if water levels were to rise in a flood, it can see which areas would be impacted first by a bush fire break out, and it can predict where storms could cause more damage.
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Even if the Gold Coast isn’t under immediate threat, the Disaster Centre is always watching, studying, and preparing.
The Disaster Centre had a close eye on the recent bush fire crisis in the hinterland, and were able to send vital crews and assistance as needed.
Despite the blaze not quite crossing the city limits to the Gold Coast, the threat has prompted Mayor Tate and city officers to come together today for a full scale disaster exercise.
Mayor Tate says the idea of the exercise is that they can be prepared for anything.
“A few variables that I throw in now and again myself – just to test everyone.
“I think it’s all about learning together.
“And if we’ve got things that just happen smoothly and tick the box – that’s not how disaster works. mother natures just throws things out of left field,” Mayor Tate said.
There is still a month or so left of bush fire season, and Mayor Tom Tate says while the Disaster Centre continues to keep its eyes on developing situations, everyone needs to be prepared.
“If the Disaster Management Unit is getting ready – you too should be getting ready.
“What I mean by that is make sure you have battery operated radio, first aid kid, know where your pets are, help your neighbours if they need help, clear the gutters and the like,” Mayor Tate said.
While being prepared is key, locals are also being warned that complacency can sometimes worsen the situation.
“That’s how mishap happens, when you’re complacent. Because it means that you’re not prepared and you’re not ready.
“Even to the extent we’ve had a fire started by people out there, it’s dry as anything and they’re out there riding their lawn mower.
“Riding away, the blade strikes a rock, sends a spark and that’s how some of the bush fire actually started.
“For those people out there doing those some of things – cutting timber and that – I’d urge them to refrain,” Mayor Tate said.
With storm season around the corner, City officers are now looking at the possible effects of thunderstorms, floods, and – in future – even tsunamis.
“Thunderstorms – the long term forecast says there’s going to be a few of those.
“Flash storms – we’re looking at what happens with what 100mm can do in 24 hours, that’s what this exercise is about as well.
“In future, we’ll look at potential tsunamis because disaster for that is different, because evacuation for that, instead of running wide – to get away from it, you have to run up.
“So it’s a different mindset, so we’ll look at that variable probably around March,” Mayor Tate said.
Above all, Mayor Tate has urged the community to listen when they’re told to evacuate.
With multiple teams, precise technology and a coordinated approach, Gold Coasters can be reassured that when they’re told to act – they need to.
“If I say that that area needs to be evacuated – it needs to be evacuated for safety reasons,” Mayor Tate said.
For more information on how to get prepared, click here.