Redlands Coast residents are urged to get ready now to ensure they are prepared ahead of this year’s bushfire and storm season.
Redland City Mayor and Local Disaster Management Group chair Karen Williams said Get Ready Queensland Week, from 9 to 15 October, aimed to raise awareness of the need to prepare for severe weather events and disasters.
“The idea behind this statewide initiative is to be proactive as we head into late spring and summer when we know there can be devastating weather events and conditions conducive to destructive bushfires,” Cr Williams said.
“The Bureau of Meteorology recently advised there will be reduced rainfall through to at least the end of February due to an El Nino, and these warmer and drier than average conditions mean there is an increased risk of bushfire.
“The lesson we have learnt from previous years is that if we get ready now we will be in a better position to handle anything this upcoming season throws at us.”
Cr Williams said Council had completed a wide range of fire mitigation activities in preparation for bushfires.
“The Fire Management team manages bushland reserves on the mainland, North Stradbroke Island and the Southern Moreton Bay Islands and has conducted 25 planned burns over more than 158 hectares this year, she said.
“They also manage more than 170km of fire access tracks within conservation areas and have undertaken slashed firebreak maintenance in more than 1200 areas for asset protection and access.
“The team has also conducted vegetation management through fuel reduction and weed control.”
Cr Williams said Council maintained a dedicated Redland City Disaster Management website that provided practical information on preparing for, responding to and recovering from disaster.
“There is also a Redlands Coast Disaster Dashboard website that is continually updated during a disaster with vital information on road closures, emergency contacts, Energex power outages, active evacuation centres and weather warnings,” she said.
“Council also has an opt-in emergency notification messaging service, Redlands Coast Alerts, which is an important part of our disaster and emergency communications.
“More than 4600 residents are subscribed to this free service, and I encourage you to opt in during Get Ready Queensland Week.”
Cr Williams said now was the time for residents to ‘spring clean’ their properties to reduce the risks associated with bushfires and extreme weather events.
“One of the most common callouts for our local SES volunteers is for leaking roofs and this is often caused by blocked gutters,” she said.
“Blocked drains can also cause damage when water flows back towards your house, so I encourage residents to check, and clear, drains and gutters now.
“It is also important to ensure loose items in the yard are secured, especially when a storm is forecast.”
To support local SES volunteers as they get ready for the storm season, Division 2 Councillor Peter Mitchell said Council contractors were constructing a large carport shelter at Cleveland SES Group’s building in Wellington Street.
“This shelter will not only offer protection to SES personnel during bad weather, but will also provide a large undercover assembly area for loading vehicles and training,” Cr Mitchell said.
The $209,000 carport has been funded with $80,000 from Redland City Council, $59,000 from a 2023/24 SES Support Grant, $35,000 funding support from the Gambling Community Benefit Fund and $35,000 from the Redland Emergency Services Volunteers Association.
Tips to prepare your home:
- Clean gutters and downpipes so stormwater can drain quickly, but don’t use a high-pressure water blaster on asbestos roofs
- Secure loose items around your property and garden (sheets of tin, trampolines)
- Have tarps available to use with sandbags if you are in an area prone to flooding
- Trim trees and overhanging branches around your property (check with Council first and be mindful of power lines)
- Install metal screens or shutters to prepare your home against embers
- Ensure LPG cylinder relief valves point away from the house to minimize fire risk
- Make sure pumps or generators are working and ready if needed
Tips to make a household emergency plan
- Prepare an emergency kit with essentials such as medications, legal papers, first aid, a battery-operated radio, batteries, pet food, money and a torch
- Have a good supply of bottled water readily available
- Identify a safe place to shelter in a storm or to evacuate to in a bushfire and decide how you would look after your pets
- Decide whether to go early or stay and defend in bushfire situations
- Make sure everyone in your household knows your emergency plan
- Know your neighbours as they can be a source of support during emergencies
More information on how to prepare yourself, your home and your business for a disaster is available in the Redland City Disaster Management Plan on Council’s website.