A simulated disaster management exercise is currently underway in Tallebudgera.
Operation Trident, an exercise aimed at testing the Gold Coast’s emergency response started at midnight on Sunday evening and will continue until 10am on Monday morning.
Queensland Police Service, Queensland Fire and Rescue Service, Surf Life Saving Queensland and the City of Gold Coast have all taken part in the exercise.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
It simulated a severe storm event during which 320mm of rain fell in the Tallebudgera Creek catchment – coinciding with wind gusts of up to 95 kilometres per hour.
Flash flooding and a high tide event which saw 255 properties affected, roads and causeways flooded, and power cut to several areas.
The response to the simulated disaster was led by Local Area Management Group Chairman Mayor Tom Tate.
The Mayor said it provided a valuable insight into the City’s preparedness and demonstrated the value of the jointly housed Disaster Management Unit established in 2012.
“We’re always refining and improving our practices. Today’s exercise demonstrated our strengths and reinforced that local residents are in safe hands,” said Cr Tate.
“We learned many lessons from Ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald and it is great to see many improvements to our systems performing well under stress and in a ‘live’ situation.”
The Mayor said that he would like to see further investment and more improvements ahead of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games™.
“Glasgow set an incredibly high benchmark and it is important that we get to that level in coming years,” said Cr Tate.
“In particular, I would like to see information flow more quickly between all agencies, through broadcast media and on social media.”
“Information must be accurate – but it must also be as close to live as we can get so residents can make informed decisions about protecting their loved ones and property.”
The Mayor hoped news of the exercise would prompt residents to spend some time thinking about their own emergency plans ahead of the summer storm season.
“The most important thing you can do for you and your family is to make a plan,” said Cr Tate.
“We all hope we’ll never need to use an emergency kit, but extreme weather is part of our lives and as a community, our best protection is to be prepared. This can help take the load off our emergency services to continue their important front-line work.”
IMAGE: Pawel Papis