Know what to do during a cyclone

Media release issued by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services

Cyclones are a part of life in Queensland, and being prepared can make a world of difference between cyclones having a major on minor impact on you.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Commissioner Lee Johnson said the coastal areas of Queensland were subject to cyclones, however it was possible for some western communities to also feel the impact.

“Only a few years ago Cyclone Yasi was still a cyclone several hundred kilometres inland and other cyclones have dropped significant rainfall on inland areas after crossing the coast” Mr Johnson said.

“Take the time now to contact your local council and determine whether you’re located in a cyclone and storm surge zone so you are aware of what measures you will need in place should a cyclone watch or warning be issued by the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM),” Mr Johnson said.

“When the weather system crosses the coastline dropping a large amount of rainfall and moves inland it is not uncommon for the aftermath to be felt by other communities. This was also the case with Ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald in January this year.”

Mr Johnson said it was also important for people to familarise themselves with the types of warnings the BoM would issue in the event of a tropical cyclone.

“When coastal communities are expected to be affected within 48 hours by winds associated with a tropical cyclone the Bureau of Meteorology can issue a series of Tropical Cyclone Watch advices,” he said.

“When the threat is likely to affect the community with 24 hours this advice will be upgraded to a Tropical Cyclone Warning.

“When a cyclone does hit your area it is important to disconnect all electrical appliances, listen to your radio for updates, stay inside and shelter clear of windows in the strongest part of the building and keep your essentials close by.

“Be aware of the eye of the cyclone where it can appear like the system has passed but hasn’t. Always wait for advice from BoM before you go outside.”

Mr Johnson said once the cyclone has crossed the danger was not over.

“You must not go outside until the threat has passed as powerlines, bridges, buildings and trees could be damaged and unstable. You should also check for gas leaks and not use electrical appliances if they’re wet,” he said.

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