Being alert to disaster scenarios

STORM DAMAGE: Eidsvold residents woke to a destructive storm on Saturday night that felled trees and powerlines.
STORM DAMAGE: Eidsvold residents woke to a destructive storm on Saturday night that felled trees and powerlines. Rolina Hayes

IT HAS been a tumultuous year of disasters and the North Burnett Disaster Recovery Group is aiming to improve the way it adapts to emergency situations.

At the weekend, a severe thunderstorm downed trees and powerlines in the Eidsvold district.

The storm produced more than 30mm of rain and 3cm hailstones. Many homes were left without power.

North Burnett Mayor Rachel Chambers said the big focus for the next incident would be improving the degree to which the council could communicate information.

"We know that when something happens, there's this quest for information and if we don't put something out quickly, then people will put their own sources of information,” Cr Chambers said.

"On-the-ground information is important and we encourage it, but there needs to be that one point of truth, and we have the resources and the connections to get that information out there.”

While an incident like the Eidsvold storm, or the hailstorm that struck Mundubbera in early November, can be catastrophic, the group's primary focus is on disasters with a wide-reaching impact, requiring the aid from of organisations outside North Burnett Regional Council.

Cr Chambers said because the region had been hit by so many damaging weather events, it could cause confusion as to the big-picture severity.

"People who experience those storms, which caused huge property damage, ask 'where's my disaster relief?' and we have to try and explain the difference between a disaster and a bad weather event,” she said.

The official declaration of a La Nina weather event by the Bureau of Meteorology has brought with it predictions of increased flood and storm risk for parts of Queensland.

Deputy Mayor Faye Whelan advised residents to prepare for whatever may come, whether it be storm, flood or something else.

"Anyone on medication should make sure they have plenty of prescriptions stocked up, because in the past we've found that's the sort of thing that gets left behind during an emergency situation,” Cr Whelan said.

Topics:  disaster planning eidsvold flood north burnett regional council storm

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