Redlands Coast residents are urged to clean their gutters as part of their preparations for storm and bushfire season.
Redland City Mayor and Local Disaster Management Group chair Karen Williams said gutter cleaning was one of the simplest steps residents could take to make themselves safer during a disaster and prevent avoidable damage to their home.
“Our SES Local Controller has identified leaking roofs caused by blocked gutters as one of the most common callouts during a rain event and recommends gutters be checked at least twice a year if your house is surrounded by vegetation,” Cr Williams said.
“Blocked gutters are also a risk during bushfires as floating embers can cause leaf matter and debris to ignite.
“Council recognises there are many vulnerable residents on our islands who are unable to access gutter cleaning services and so are at increased risk during disaster events.
“In response to this need, Council’s Disaster Management Team partnered with not-for-profit community-based organisation Women of Trades + Industry (WOT+I) for a pilot project on the Southern Moreton Bay Islands and Coochiemudlo Island.”
Division 5 Councillor Mark Edwards said the Gutters and Get Ready project offered gutter cleaning services and disaster preparedness information to island residents 60 years and over or with a disability or chronic health condition.
“The team from WOT+I cleaned gutters for 40 residents as part of the project throughout October and November,” Cr Edwards said.
“More than 20 other residents were able to be referred for alternative support options.”
Division 4 Councillor Lance Hewlett said the project was a great initiative to support vulnerable island residents who were unable to clean their own gutters.
“Even if residents can find a service willing to travel to the islands to do the work, cost of living pressures mean they often never get to the stage of booking the clean,” Cr Hewlett said.
“As well as cleaning gutters, the WOT+I team also shared information and resources such as Council’s disaster preparedness kits, which contain lots of useful information such as a severe weather safety guide and a safe home checklist.”
Cr Williams said it was important for residents to do all they could to reduce their risk and prepare their homes and families for significant weather and disaster events.
“Emergency services and teams from across Council work hard to reduce risk and prepare the community for times of disaster, but we can’t do it alone,” she said.
“All residents should know their risk, make a household emergency plan and pack an emergency kit.
“Residents can also sign up for Redlands Coast Alerts, Council’s opt-in emergency notification messaging service, which is an important part of our disaster and emergency communications.”
The Gutters and Get Ready project was jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.
More information on how to prepare yourself, your home and your business for a disaster is available at Get Ready Queensland.