Prepare all family and household members

Because of our Queensland climate, we're subject to severe storms, flooding, bush fires, and occasional cyclones. However, if you make time to prepare with the entire family, people and pets, you'll be safer and confident when faced with weather-related challenges. Take time to plan with your household what you would do in the event of an emergency. You might think that your entire family understands the importance of being prepared, but how can you be certain?

  • Do you know which type of natural disasters occur in your area?
  • Have there been floods, bushfires severe storms, or cyclones in the past?
  • Have you listed phone number to contact emergency support?
  • Do you know what your local council has planned if your area needs to be evacuated?
  • Have you included your pets in your emergency plan?
  • Does your child's school or university have an emergency plan?

Household Emergency Plan

Prepare a Household Emergency Plan so that you and your family know what to do, where to go, how to stay in touch, and how to contact emergency services. Make sure you involve all family members when planning ahead, so that everyone understands and feels included in the process. See the Emergency Management Queensland webpage for more information on how to prepare a Household Emergency Plan.

Precautions to take

In an emergency situation it might be safest to remain where you are, whether that's at home, work, school or interstate. Being apart from loved ones during such a stressful time will be difficult. You should discuss in advance how you would stay in contact, if you were separated. Sending SMS messages are cost effective and won't cause network congestion.

Don't panic if you can't locate someone. If you've discussed emergencies with them, they're sure to follow that advice. For example, a child on their way home from school, will seek appropriate shelter in the care of a responsible adult, in a neighbourhood 'safe house'.

Consider the location of your place of work or school in relation to your home. Are there rivers or creeks that might flood and prevent you from returning home?

Don't drive through flooded roads. If you can't see the white line markings that run along the centre of the road then the water is too deep to see how the deep the water is or whether the road is washed out. You cannot know how fast, how deep and how the situation might change.

You might decide, under duress, to take a risk in order to collect a family member or get to your family at home. The dangers associated with getting trapped in your car in floodwaters, far outweighs any other responsibilities. So make the necessary phone calls to make alternate plans.

During an emergency, you have to rely on those responsible for family members to take good care and keep them safe. But don't assume others are as prepared as you might expect. Talk to school, kindergarten or day care staff about what preparations have been made. If you're not confident that their emergency plans are adequate, meet with staff and make suggestions based on your research and knowledge. Your help and advice could save a life. Knowing the emergency plans of community establishments you and your family frequent will better assist you in developing your own preparedness plan.







If house is in low-lying area be prepared to move to higher ground.

Seek shelter. Do not try to walk through flash floods

Avoid driving through flooded areas. If caught there, watch for road washouts and avoid dips and underpasses.

Severe storm with LIGHTNING

Close windows and doors and keep away from windows, doors and fireplaces. Don't go outside unless it is absolutely necessary.

Before storm hits unplug appliances including radio, television and computers and do not touch electrical items or telephones during the storm.

Do not take a bath (both water and metal are electrical conductors).

Get inside vehicle or building if possible. Avoid water and objects that conduct electricity (e.g. golf clubs, umbrellas, metal fences). Do not stay in open space or under tall objects (trees, poles).

If no shelter is available crouch down, feet close together with head tucked down. If in a group spread out, keeping people several metres apart.

Remember, lightning victims can be revived with CPR even though there is no pulse.

Stay in vehicle with windows closed. Avoid touching metal parts of vehicle. Do not drive - wait. But don't park under trees or other tall objects that may fall over in storm.

Be wary of downed power lines that may be touching your car. You should be safe in the car but may receive a shock if you step outside.


Stay inside with doors and windows shut. Stay away from windows, doors, and exterior walls. Go to a small, interior room or stairwell on the lowest floor of the building (bathrooms are often best choice). If possible crouch under heavy furniture. Protect your head with cushion or mattress.

Seek shelter in a building (not a car or caravan) immediately. If no shelter is available, lie flat in low dry spot (ravine or ditch) or under a low bridge. Keep alert for flash floods. Protect your head. As a last resort, hang on tightly to the base of a shrub or small tree.

Do not stay in a vehicle or caravan, and do not try to outrun tornado by driving, especially in populated areas. If possible run to nearby solid structure (shelter or building). If no solid structure is nearby lie flat in dry ditch or ravine outside. Keep alert for flash floods. Protect your head.


Stay away from windows and glass doors. Be alert for signs of high winds or tornado (especially if hail is large) and follow tornado precautions if necessary.

Seek cover, face away from wind and protect your head. Be alert for signs of high winds or tornado (especially if hail is large) and follow tornado precautions if necessary.

Keep head and face away from windows. Be alert for signs of high winds or tornadoes (especially if hail is large) and follow tornado precautions if necessary.