Each Redland City island is to get its own disaster management plan, Mayor Karen Williams said today.
Cr Williams said the Southern Moreton Bay Islands would be priorities, with North Stradbroke and Coochiemudlo islands to follow.
“The recent Australia Day weekend storms and their aftermath, and fires on North Stradbroke Island, drove home to us the need to be prepared for such events,” she said.
“We were able to take the first steps to ensuring our island communities are better prepared for events with successful resilient forums on Macleay and Russell islands yesterday (Thursday, 14 March).
“The necessary next steps are to prepare plans for each of the islands, and then to have those plans in place before October, the traditional start of the fire and storm seasons.”
Division 5 Councillor Mark Edwards, who proposed the forums, said the message was simple: be prepared for the likelihood of up to five days’ isolation on the islands.
“We had hundreds of people on the islands who were without power for up to five days, after an initial period of isolation from the mainland because of the weather,” he said.
“The reality is we all tend to take things for granted, and to be complacent at times.
“There is a particular need for our isolated island communities to prepare themselves and it was important that we followed up the lessons of the storms quickly, while the impact was fresh in people’s minds.
“I think the exercise on the islands was very worthwhile, and the informal format worked tremendously well. I have no doubt it can be the model for discussions/planning on other islands.
“The fact Council officers were joined by representatives from Police, Ambulance, SES, QFRS, Emergency Management Queensland, the Department of Communities, Red Cross and Energex lent to the credibility of the occasion.”
Cr Williams said the information/education forums were especially designed for islanders.
“We had a steady flow of residents through each forum. It was pleasing to see a number of visitors from neighbouring Lamb and Karragarra islands, and particularly pleasing to see the number of people who completed household emergency plans at the forums,” she said.
“I am confident we got the message about the need to be prepared though to those who attended. I know one woman was going to ensure her whole street was prepared.”
People can still have their say by completing the online survey on Council’s website until 1 April 2013. Link is: www.redland.qld.gov.au/Haveyoursay/Engagements
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