WITH the threat of storms looming over Queensland, the RACQ and CareFlight are urging motorists to thoroughly prepare to reduce their risk of injury and vehicle damage and maximise their safety.
RACQ CareFlight Chief Executive Officer, Ashley van de Velde, said it was almost one year since ex-tropical Cyclone Oswald ripped through central and southern Queensland, tearing down power lines, flooding homes and destroying people's livelihoods.
"For eight days our helicopter crews from the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Toowoomba, Roma and Bundaberg worked tirelessly to rescue more than 300 people from the floodwaters," Mr van de Velde said.
"With forecasters predicting storms and possibly a cyclone, we're urging motorists and other Queenslanders to do everything they can to reduce their risk of injury or endangering their lives."
RACQ Senior Road Safety Advisor Joel Tucker said that by reducing risks and preparing for the worst, motorists would be in a far better position to deal with, and recover from, a life threatening disaster.
"In addition to checking that you're adequately covered and up to date with your insurance policies, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself and your car if a storm is approaching," Mr Tucker said.
- Prepare an emergency kit that includes a battery powered torch and radio to use if other power sources or communication channels fail.
- Keep your yard clear of loose items, debris and branches that can become missiles in a storm.
- If a storm is forecast, delay your trip and park your vehicle under cover if possible.
- Keep up to date with emergency services' reports and don't drive until advised it is safe.
- If your home or yard is prone to flooding, organise a safe alternative parking spot for your car.
- If you cannot park your car under shelter, cover it with blankets to minimise hail damage.
- If a storm breaks, seek safe shelter while taking care not to put others at risk and be considerate of property owners' rights Don't park or shelter under trees.
- Don't speed up to beat a storm - instead seek a safe place to shelter until the storm passes.
- If caught in a storm and visibility is reduced, pull off the road and stop in a safe place and turn your hazard lights on.
- Don't drive through flood waters - even shallow flowing water can sweep vehicles away.