Queenslanders urged to Get Ready ahead of storm season

Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympics Infrastructure The Honourable Dr Steven Miles

With Australia in line for a third La Nina season in a row, Queenslanders are being urged to prepare their families and property for possible natural disasters.

That’s the message during Get Ready Queensland Week (10-16 October), which launched today with events at Nundah State School in Brisbane and Depot Hill State School in Rockhampton.

Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for the Queensland Reconstruction Authority Steven Miles has called on every Queenslander to use this week to get ready for disaster season.

“From flooding and cyclones to bushfires, heatwaves and giant hail, we experience it all in Queensland, and we need to prepare for it all,” Mr Miles said.

“We’re the most disaster impacted state in Australia, and the latest BOM forecast signals more rough weather is on the way.

“That’s why Get Ready Queensland Week holds such significance this year.

“This is a call for all Queenslanders – it’s vital you and your loved ones are ready for the upcoming disaster season.

“We’re still recovering from one of our toughest summers ever, and we’re going to need every ounce of that renowned Queensland resilience as we go forward,” he said.

“Since 2011 Queensland has been impacted by almost 100 natural disasters, so it’s a matter of when not if the next one will reach us, and before it does every Queenslander needs to ask themselves: are they ready?

“More than 60 per cent of Queenslanders now say they get ready ahead of disaster season and have an emergency plan in place, but we’re eager to see even higher uptake,” he said.

Get Ready Queensland Ambassador Johnathan Thurston said there are basic things Queenslanders can do now to ensure they are well prepared ahead of storm season.

“Queenslanders can get ready now by following three simple steps: know your risk, make an emergency plan, and pack an emergency kit,” Mr Thurston said.

“Just grabbing a few extra items next time you’re at the shops is all it takes to stock an emergency kit, to help keep you and your family safe at home.

“No matter where you live in Queensland you are at risk from extreme weather, so it’s important to know what you might face and ways you can stay safe when the time comes.

“Don’t miss this window of opportunity to Get Ready, Queensland.”

Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Mark Ryan said emergency services across the state had been training for the upcoming season and were ready to respond.

“Our paid and volunteer SES and Rural Fire Service personnel, along with our Fire and Rescue firefighters, officers and staff – especially our swiftwater rescue technicians – have been spending the past several months honing their skills, exercising with partner agencies and engaging with communities to prepare for the upcoming storm and cyclone season,” he said.

“This Get Ready Week is an opportunity for every Queenslander to add to these preparation efforts and make sure you’re just as ready as our emergency services when severe weather strikes.

“Queenslanders are being asked to take three important steps to prepare: know your risk, prepare an emergency plan and pack an emergency kit.

“In Queensland severe weather can strike at any time and it’s important residents are ready so they can act fast if needed.”

Minister for Children and Member for Nudgee Leanne Linard said the school visits were a great way to get families to start the conversation.

“We want every Queenslander to understand the importance of getting ready for natural disasters, especially our youngest Queenslanders,” Ms Linard said.

“School visits like Nundah and Depot Hill today, and other Get Ready events throughout our cities, towns and rural communities, compel children to talk to their families about preparing for natural disasters.”

Laura Boekel from the Bureau of Meteorology said Queenslanders should stay up to date with the latest forecast and warnings on the bureau’s website or the BOM Weather app.

“There is an increased risk of widespread flooding for eastern and northern Australia for the coming severe weather season,” Miss Boekel said.

“While severe weather can occur at any time of the year, October to April is the peak time for flooding, tropical cyclones, heatwaves, bushfires and severe thunderstorms.

“It is important to know your weather and know your risk – so you’re ready to act and stay safe.

“Queenslanders and all Australians should follow all advice from your local emergency services on what to do before, during and after severe weather,” she said.

“Download the BOM Weather app to set alert notifications for warnings and visit the bureau’s website, www.bom.gov.au, to be better prepared for severe weather.”

In 2022 Suncorp is again partnering with the QRA and Get Ready Queensland to promote disaster preparedness across the state.

Suncorp Chief Operating Officer Insurance Paul Smeaton said the company is proud to work together with the Queensland Reconstruction Authority, SES and JT to help communities better protect themselves from extreme weather events.

“As the next storm season approaches it is impossible to overemphasise the importance for each Queensland household to get prepared for bushfire, flooding and cyclone,” Mr Smeaton said.

“Suncorp will continue to advocate for its Four Point Plan that’s driving ongoing investment in lessening the impact of extreme weather on households, businesses and communities.

“Core to achieving this are grants to build resilience in homes, improved public infrastructure such as levee banks, removing the taxes and charges from insurance premiums, and updating planning laws to ensure homes can’t continue to be built in areas prone to natural disasters.”

Get Ready Queensland is also working with IGA to make sure it’s easy for Queenslanders to prepare their household emergency kit.

IGA Springfield Lakes owner Terry Slaughter said IGA retailers across Queensland are proud to partner with Get Ready Queensland to help local communities get prepared and stay safe.

“Putting locals first is what IGA does best, whether that’s supporting local suppliers, producers and charities, or helping the communities we live in prepare and be resilient should natural disasters strike,” Mr Slaughter said.

“We are passionate about doing whatever we can to help, because IGA really is where the locals matter.”

Get Ready Queensland is a year-round, all-hazards, resilience building initiative to help communities prepare for natural disasters.

/Public Release. View in full here.