Research local hazards


Research local hazards - ask neighbours, library, Council

Being prepared is the most effective buffer we have to protect and support our community in times of severe flood, storm, bushfire, cyclone, and other emergencies. An important part of planning ahead is to find out what natural hazards have occurred in your local area, and what disaster management arrangements have been made for your town, city, or region.

You can use the Be Aware section of this website to understand what weather hazards affect your area.

Hazards come in all shapes and sizes. Your evacuation procedures for a fire may be different from those for a cyclone or a tornado. Knowing which hazards are prevalent in your area will help determine your plan of action.

What potential natural hazards could impact the community where you live? Your local library, regional council, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology website, and long-term neighbours will provide you with historical information about natural disasters. Each local council has flood maps you can use to determine whether your property was inundated during the last major flood event.

Try searching the Internet for newspaper stories of specific events if you need more details. For example, enter 'Toowoomba' and 'floods' into a search engine and you'll find 888,000 search results - mainly newspaper stories. To narrow the search, enter the year of the event you're interested in. Most local council authorities have a section called Disasters and Emergencies under the Community Services category of their websites.

 Tropical cyclones in the Queensland region mostly form from low-pressure systems within the monsoon trough, between November and April and on average 4.7 cyclones affect Queensland each year. While residents along the entire east coast should prepare, the northern region between Gladstone and Cape York, is at greater risk.

 Use the bushfire risk maps produced by The Rural Fire Service and Queensland Fire and Rescue Service to determine your local area's vulnerability. Now is the time for everyone to put in place measures to protect their rural properties from the threat of fires. With the heavy rainfall comes much vegetation growth, so it's important to check firebreaks, to prevent wildfires destroying homes, livestock, and pastures.

Become familiar with weather warnings issued by the Bureau of Meteorology. Do you know the difference between a 'cyclone watch' and a 'cyclone warning'? What actions do you need to take when a 'cyclone warning' or a 'flood warning' is issued?