With summer fast approaching, the Gold Coast faces an increased risk of natural disasters and emergency events – think storms, floods, bushfires, tropical cyclones, pandemics and more.
On top of that, in September, the Bureau of Meteorology officially declared La Niña has developed in the Pacific Ocean.
So what does that mean for Gold Coasters? According to QFES Emergency Management Co-Ordinator Amanda Roseman the city is facing a very wet season.
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“When it comes to La Nina, we do need to expect severe weather, lots of storms, lots of rain and that’s why you need to have an emergency kit in place,” she told myGC.
“Your emergency kit is for those things you would need for in the next 24, 36, or 48 hours to get through. So something to cook with, lighting, some food, and the essentials you may need for your family.”
Here are some essential items to include in your emergency kit:
- bottled water
- tinned food
- a torch with spare batteries
- a portable phone charger
- a battery radio also with spare batteries
- a medical kit
- copies of important documents in waterproof bags
- any special needs for your family like infant formula or prescription medicines.
“This year, it is a COVID environment, so it should also have hand sanitiser, face masks and any extras you may need outside of your home,” Ms Rosman said.
“Many of us know to have an emergency kit at home, but it is essential to have one in your car as well. We don’t know what is going to happen when we are out and about.”
In addition to an emergency kit in the home and car, Ms Rosman said it is essential Gold Coasters have an emergency plan in place.
“We’ve got great resources on the City of Gold Coast website to have a look and see ‘What is it that I need in my plan‘, ‘What is it I need for my family’ and ‘What is it I need for my pets’,” she said.
Field Operations for the SES Emily Metcalfe said this time of year is always particularly busy for SES volunteers, but there are ways Gold Coasters can help ease the burden.
“We ask the public to have their roof gutters clean, to ensure they are tying down any loose debris around the yard and securing pets. We also ask the public to be aware of fallen powerlines and also if they are out and are caught in a storm, to remember, if it’s flooded, forget it,” she told myGC.
Ms Metcalfe said it’s also a great idea to check on neighbours to ensure everyone is prepared if disaster strikes.
“So as we have a responsibility as individuals to be prepared, we also need to check on our neighbours and make sure that as a community we are helping each other so we can stay safe this storm season.”
To download the Gold Coast Disaster Guide and find out more about preparing an emergency kit and evacuation plan, visit goldcoast.qld.gov.au