Prepare now for possible storm surge

Advice as at 6pm, Sunday 10 December 2023.

This warning is from the Cairns Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG).

Tropical Cyclone Jasper could cause a storm surge to properties in the RED, ORANGE AND YELLOW storm tide zones across the Cairns region.

Visit the Cairns Disaster Dashboard or use the Storm Surge Search to check if you are in a storm tide zone.

Storm surge is when coastal waters rise above highest tide levels because of a cyclone. The tsunami-like waves can go a long way inland. Storm surge is a threat to life and property. People in these places should prepare now for possible storm surge.


  • Big waves and sea water will travel a long way inland and through coastal creeks and rivers. This can flood and damage buildings, wash away roads and cars, and damage bridges.
  • Roads could be blocked by fallen trees, powerlines or flood water from the cyclone.
  • There will be lots of wind and rain from the cyclone. There will be flooding in low-lying areas.
  • Power, water, phone and sewerage services could stop working.

What you should do

  • Decide now where you will go if the storm surge starts. This should be with family and friends in safer, ‘higher’ locations, outside threatened zones.
  • Consider booking accommodation outside the storm tide zones.
  • If you have children make sure they are with you or an adult you trust.
  • If you have no other options, stay informed for the location of public storm tide cyclone shelters to be announced in coming days, if required.
  • Prepare your home now
    • Put chemicals and poisons up high to stop them polluting the water.
    • Lift important things onto beds, benches, tables, high shelves or upstairs to protect them.
    • Block toilets, sinks and drains with sandbags to stop sewerage backflow if you can.
    • Empty and turn off fridges and freezers.
    • Be ready to turn off the power, solar, water and gas before you leave home. This will help remove electrical dangers when you come back.

o Move cars to high ground away from trees.

  • Pack an emergency kit now
    • battery-powered radio to listen to warnings
    • torch and spare batteries
    • tinned and packet food and bottled water to last five days
    • enough clothes for five days
    • important medicine
    • important papers (like ID, insurance papers and passports)
    • first-aid kit
    • mobile phone, charger and charged power bank
    • toilet paper, face masks and hand sanitiser
    • if you have very young children, enough nappies for up to five days, wipes, bottles, formula or baby food. Plan to not have a fridge or microwave
    • if you have a pet, enough pet food for five days, a lead and/or crate.

· Check your family, friends and neighbours know what to do. Help them if you can.

Public Storm Tide Cyclone Shelters are designed to save lives. Be aware:

  • People should only evacuate when instructed to.
  • If you don’t live in the RED, ORANGE AND YELLOW zones you will be refused entry.
  • Photo identification will be required.
  • You may be locked in for more than 24 hours while the cyclone passes
  • Water will be provided; bring your own food
  • Smoking, consumption of alcohol and non-prescriptive drugs is prohibited
  • Pets are not allowed.
  • You will be seated throughout the emergency; there are no beds
  • There is no wi-fi or entertainment.

Know your evacuation route:

If you are advised to evacuate, do so immediately. Don’t wait. View storm surge evacuation routes can be viewed at or by using the map at the Cairns Disaster Dashboard, and provide guidance on the most direct route out of a storm surge area. Leave yourself plenty of time; there will be a lot of other people evacuating at the same time and roads may be congested.

If you find it hard to move quickly or have special or medical needs

  • Use your Person-Centred Emergency Plan (P-CEP) now if you have one.
  • If anyone in your house uses powered medical equipment, like a dialysis machine or ventilator, decide now where you will go in case you lose power.
  • Call your support person or service to organise transport.
  • Leaving early is safer than waiting.

If you are a tourist or visitor, camper or caravanner

  • Campers and caravanners should start packing up now.
  • If you do not need to be in the area, leaving now is the safest option.
  • Travel out of the warning area. Check road conditions and plan your route before you leave.

If you have a boat or jet-ski

  • Take your boat, jet-ski, canoe or kayak out of the water and store securely on land if possible.
  • If your boat is kept on the water, check your moorings and relocate it to a safer mooring if possible.
  • If your boat is in a marina, batten down and check-in with the marina manager.
  • Check your area’s Extreme Weather Contingency Plan on the Maritime Safety Queensland website.

/Public Release. View in full here.