It is news none of us wanted hear: there is more rain on the way. With the ground still wet from the deluges earlier in the year, and the dams levels high, there is a strong chance Ryanites could find themselves affected by floods again this year.
The benefit of advance warnings is the opportunity to make some preparations.
How you can prepare
1. Gather information
Use the advance warning to find out how you might be affected, and what supports are available to you.
If you were affected earlier this year, it is probably all too vivid in your memory. It may even trigger emotional and mental distress. 1300 642 255 is the Mental Health Triage number for Queenslanders with to access public mental health services.
Things to check:
is your home or business likely to be affected?
- what does your insurance cover?
what council support is there now, and in the emergency? BCC are offering help with sandbags, for example.
- what are your neighbours doing to prepare? Can you help each other.
If you have a disability, the P-CEP Workbook is designed to help developed a tailored emergency preparedness plan tailored to your needs.
2. Make a plan
When Brisbane flooded earlier this year, it happened so suddenly that parents and children were separated by floodwaters. Get the whole family involved in making a plan.
Consider worst-case scenarios:
Where will you go if you have to evacuate?
- What arrangements can you make for pets?
Can you arrange to move valuables to a safe place?
- Who will secure your house?
Create an emergency kit
There are two different types of emergency kit. A disaster kit is intended to help you survive a few days on your own, and should include basic food items, water, and items to allow you to shelter in place. Hopefully this sort of preparation is unnecessary for most Ryanites, but some individual circumstances might warrant this level of preparation.
A flee kit is intended to secure valuables, and provide you with comfort if you are forced to evacuate. It might include a few days clothes, chargers for your devices, medications and other health aids, as well beloved toys, and books or games that can occupy children. Children can help pack their own flee kit: write a list on a pillowcase so they can remember what they want to bring.
Reduce the risk of damage
Cleaning up around outside the house, ensuring drains aren't blocked and turning off gas and power before you evacuate are relatively simple things all householders can do to minimise damage from floodwaters and debris. Longer term, there is advice on how to make your home more flood resilient.
3. Listen for warnings
When Brisbane flooded earlier this year, the warnings came too late for some people. Nonetheless, once the rain starts falling, it is a good idea to be tuned in to official sources of information. The Bureau of Meteorology and the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services will give advice to help residents and business owners, and you can also sign up to receive BCC Severe Weather Alerts.
Remember that NBN will be affected if there are power outages, so don't rely on that being available!
Radio stations, especially ABC Local, are a great source of up-to-date information in a crisis, so a cheap battery-powered radio is a good thing to have in your emergency kit.
There's recently been a move to standardise warnings across Australia. Familiarise yourself here.
Resources from the Australian Red Cross
I was surprised and pleased to be doorknocked at home by representatives of the QFES and Australian Red Cross, who gave me some samples of resources they have available. As you can see, they have targeted resources for different readers, including for kids, and for people who don't speak or read English. Sample copies are now available at my office, but you can download most of them.
Come back to this page, which my team will update as we get more information. Stay safe out there, Ryanites!
If you won't be affected
We're working closely with the Maiwar office to ensure that, if the worst happens, we're ready to help. If you know you won't be affected and would like to help those who are sign up to join the Ryan team of flood volunteers.