Harden Up - Protecting Queensland is a website developed by a
group of people who are passionate about community safety and
The inspiration for this website came from Jeff Callaghan, a
retired senior forecaster from the Bureau of Meteorology. For many
years Jeff has researched the history of Queensland's weather. He
has developed archives of thousands of historical events, many of
which are logged in the Bureau of Meteorology's official databases,
and some of which are researched from the archives of the State
Library of Queensland, ship logs and other historical records. This
long list of events allows us to see patterns throughout our
If you search through the 3,000 weather events captured in the
Harden Up database you will notice that Queenslanders
living in the 1800s made it through through some devastating floods
and cyclones. However, Jeff and many of his colleagues are
concerned that the 21st century could be an even more
active severe weather period that the 20th century.
The Harden Up - Protecting Queensland website was developed to
help you understand the history of severe weather in your suburb
and across our great state.
Once you understand more about what's happened in the past, and
get a sense of why climate scientists are so worried about why
might lie ahead, we hope you will take practical steps to get
prepared. This website has an easy to use interactive tool which
allows you to tailor a Harden Up plan to suit your needs, depending
on what weather hazards you face, whether you have pets, kids, are
caring for people with disabilities and other specific needs.
As individuals, families, neighborhoods and communities, we can
protect Queensland if we think ahead and step up to the
Why the name?
We've received lots of feedback about the name. Some of you hate
the name, some of you love the name.
Despite the horrific events of 2011 and regular warnings and
efforts to promote storm season preparedness every year, many
Queenslanders remain underprepared for these events.
In 2009 the Australia Strategic Policy Institute (an independent
policy institute set up by the Howard Government to provide fresh
ideas on Australia's defence and strategic policy choices)
published Special Report Issue 24 - Hardening Australia: Climate
change and national disaster resilience.
In this report authors point to an urgent need for 'the
community to be engaged in risk management and contribute to their
own risk reduction' in a more rigorous way, because 'scientists
predict a significant increase in the scale and number of extreme
In response to this report, in 2010, the HardenUp initiative was
developed to save lives, protect properties and reduce hardship. It
is about making Queenslanders even more resilient to natural
disasters that regularly affect our state.
According to a recent survey by the Institute for Social Science
Research at the University of Queensland, 73% of respondents
indicated that it was likely that the nation would be affected by a
natural disaster yet only 14% said it was likely the natural
disaster would affect their home.
These responses were collected only a few months prior to the
Queensland floods and cyclone that devastated many families.
According to the Queensland SES, NRMA Insurance research shows
almost two thirds of Queensland households still don't have an
emergency kit should the worst happen.
On October 26 2011, Weather Bureau director Jim Davidson warned
of an increased chance of rainfall and flooding over the next three
months, although it is unlikely to be as severe or widespread as
last summer. The National Climate Centre says Queensland has a 60%
to 80% chance of receiving above average summer rain.
So that's why Harden Up is called Harden Up - we want to be
straight with you. The risks are getting bigger but together we can
stay strong and be ready for them.
Harden Up - Protecting Queensland encourages you to:
1. Be Aware: identify your personal risk exposure to cyclone,
bushfire, flood severe storm and storm surge;
2. Prepare Yourself: take practical actions to reduce hazard
3. Help Others: build community resilience by getting involved
in local volunteering programs.
This initiative is funded by a grant from the Natural Disaster
Resilience Program through the Queensland Department of Community
Safety. It has been developed by a new environment group, Green
Green Cross partners include: the Insurance Council of
Australia, CSIRO, Bureau of Meteorology, Queensland Climate Change
Centre of Excellence, Network 10, Federal Department of Climate
Change and Energy Efficiency, Property Council of
Australia, Local Government Association of Queensland,
Suncorp, Emergency Management Queensland, Residential Tenancies
Authority, James Cook University, State Library of Queensland and
Together we are building a world-first disaster resilience
portal - please let
us know what you think about it and what you are doing about
John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland Negative 142118