Lord Mayor urges residents to prepare for severe summer weather

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk is encouraging residents to roll up their sleeves and begin preparing their homes and properties in preparation for the seasonal weather hazards Brisbane can experience during the summer months.

Cr Quirk today launched Council’s ‘Be Prepared’ All Hazard awareness campaign encouraging residents to prepare now for Brisbane’s unpredictable summer weather such as flash flooding, storms and bushfires.

“We know all too well that Brisbane’s beautiful subtropical climate also means our city is prone to severe weather and it is important we take the necessary steps now to prepare our homes, units, backyards and balconies for the dangers that high winds, heavy rains and extreme heat can bring,” Cr Quirk said.

“Simple actions including preparing an emergency kit, signing up for the Early Warning Alert Service and cleaning up can reduce the impact of a severe weather event.

“Already we have 109,000 households to the Early Warning Network but Council offers a free subscription to every household in Brisbane, and every family can benefit by contacting Council or visiting Council’s website to sign up.

“The Early Warning Network provides a “heads up” about potential severe thunderstorms and enables residents to take appropriate precautions necessary to keep themselves and their families safe.

Queensland’s bushfire season runs from August to December each year while the south east summer storm season is typically experience from September through to March.

Cr Quirk said Council had undertaking extensive works across the city in preparations for the summer hazards.

“This year we’ve invested $4 million for fire preparedness to carry out hazard-reduction activity, maintain fire-fighting equipment and undertake fire trail maintenance, to prevent, prepare for and respond to bushfires,” Cr Quirk said.

“Throughout the year Council undertakes regular tree trimming and drainage maintenance to ensure that Brisbane is prepared for an all hazards event at a time and this financial year we will spend $14 million on tree trimming and $29.7 million on drainage maintenance.

“Brisbane’s SES capabilities will be further strengthened when a new $1.7 million SES depot in Richlands opens next month to service Brisbane’s south west and will be home to one of Council’s 4 sandbagging machines.

“Our sandbagging machines have greatly increased our capacity to provide sandbags to residents during a storm event, with the new machines capable of filling 1,200 sandbags per hour.”
To help residents prepare for storm season, free green waste weekends will be offered at Council transfer stations on 26 & 27 September, 10 & 11 October and 24 & 25 October.

Cr Quirk also encouraged homeowners and residents to get storm prepared with the following steps:
• clean up the yard, clean gutters and downpipes of leaf litter, and check the roof and skylights are in good condition.
• if a storm is approaching, secure loose items in your backyard or on your balcony.
• if flooding is likely, ensure valuables are stored up high.
• prepare an emergency kit, which should contain a torch, portable radio, spare batteries, first aid kit, emergency contact numbers and important documents such as insurance papers.
• sign up to the Early Warning Alert Service at www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/beprepared.

To find out more information on preparing your home and property, residents can take Council’s ‘Be Prepared’ checklist online at www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/beprepared