Planning and preparation urged for storm and bushfire resilience

Moreton Bay Regional Council is urging residents across the region to prepare themselves and their families for the looming bushfire and storm seasons.

Storm seasons in south east Queensland are often wild and unpredictable and the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services are warning that theres more fuel for bushfires around this year too.

Moreton Bay Mayor Allan Sutherland said residents could make themselves more resilient by doing a few simple things now to prepare their homes and families.

Getting accurate information quickly is really important when youre confronted by extreme weather events, so signing up to councils free warning system, MoretonAlert, is the first thing you should do, Mayor Sutherland said.

MoretonAlert will deliver storm warnings, weather information, and bushfire alerts and warnings to you via SMS, e-mail or telephone voice message.

We have also added some new features to MoretonAlert over the past 12 months, including prescribed burn notifications for hazard reduction burns conducted by council.

These could be really useful to people with asthma and animals that get spooked by smoke, giving you a chance to arrange precautions when burn-offs are planned in your area.

You should also create an emergency plan, so that every member of your family knows what to do when a storm or bushfire warning goes out.

Acting Superintendent Simon Ball from Queensland Fire and Emergency Services said dense rainforest and bushland, brought on by recent heavy rainfall, meant there was a higher than normal risk of bushfires in some areas of the region this summer.

Council and the rural fire service have worked together to complete widespread bushfire hazard reduction burns across the Moreton Bay Region, to reduce the load before summer brings high temperatures and the bushfire season officially begins, Acting Superintendent Ball said.

Individual households also have an important role to play in building community resilience to bushfires.

Clean out your gutters, keep your yard clear of green waste and junk, and plan things like what you will take with you if you need to evacuate and how you will look after your pets and livestock.

Moreton Bay Region SES Controller, Henk van den Ende, said many calls for assistance following major storm events could be avoided by preparation.

Many of the callouts we get from members of the community are for help with leaking rooves, so now is the time to check your roof, repair any broken tiles, and clean out your gutters and downpipes so that excess water doesnt pool up high and become a problem, Mr van den Ende said.

Also, cut back overhanging branches which could fall and damage your home or hurt someone.

All the preparation you do now will go a long way towards making you resilient when those big south east Queensland summer storms roll in.

To register for alerts and notifications from MoretonAlert, just fill out the online form at Moreton Bay Alert or call council on 5433 4444.

For more information on how to prepare your home and family for the storm and bushfire seasons, go to Moreton Bay Disaster website .

Source: The Westerner