Don’t wait until it’s too late to get ready
WHETHER the memories of what Mother Nature can throw at us are still raw or starting to fade from your memory, as storm season approaches it's a timely reminder that we should never become complacent.
That's why all residents are urged to take part in Get Ready Week, which runs from now until Sunday, by preparing for the worst.
Bundaberg SES group leader Rhys Hughes said Bundaberg had experienced the worst that storms could deliver and it was important for everyone to get ready now.
"We encourage people to have water at home, medication, batteries for their radio," he said.
"It's also about keeping the gutters clear and keeping the back yard clean, not just to protect yourself but others around you too."
Mr Hughes said SES volunteers were now spending every weekend training for the worst.
"We hope that it will never happen but our volunteers do fantastic work and I can tell you, people appreciate it if we have to turn up in the middle of the night," he said.
"Our training involves tree clearing, sandbagging, quick window repair, boat operation - it can be mundane work but it's very important."
Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett said while we can't control the weather, people can control how they prepare for it and how to respond.
"This is about ensuring every household can weather the storm this summer by planning ahead… don't wait until a storm is upon you until you decide to get prepared. Now is the time to act," he said.
"This is an opportunity for everyone to take small steps to protect their property, and to assist neighbours with preparations."
Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) chair and Bundaberg Mayor Mal Forman said last week's bushfire in Kinkuna were a timely reminder that residents should be ready for any eventuality.
"Get Ready Week is an opportune time to consider what you and your family would do when disaster strikes," he said.
"Storm and cyclone season is fast approaching and the threat of bushfire is very real for many rural landholders following the dry spell the region has experienced.
"The LDMG has already begun its preparations ahead of this high-risk period but individual households need to also take responsibility for their own emergency and evacuation plans.
"Pack an emergency and evacuation kit to ensure you have all of the emergency supplies you will require and any valuables you'd like to take with you and tune in your battery-powered radio to stay up-to-date with weather warnings and advice.
"Every household should have an emergency plan and each member of the household should be aware of it."
Make up an emergency kit
Purchase a first-aid kit
Keep a list of emergency numbers
Clean and prepare the backyard and gutters
North Burnett residents are urged to call into their local library to pick up a copy of the Get Ready North Burnett - Guide to preparing for disasters and emergency situations.
In Gayndah, Biggenden and Monto the PCYC/Army Cadets will undertake free sausage sizzles at the libraries on Saturday from about 9-11am.