What would be the impact on the Bundaberg Region coastal strip if a Category 3 cyclone crossed the coastline at Bundaberg in tandem with a high tide?
This was the scenario facing emergency services personnel gathered at the Bundaberg Multiplex today to plan an evacuation of coastal communities impacted by the ensuing storm surge created by hostile weather conditions.
Acting Inspector Glenn Cameron said the training exercise code named “Exercise Tahliye” (Turkish for evacuation) was a regular event involving personnel aligned with the District Disaster Management Group and the Local Disaster Management Group.
“There are also representatives from other agencies like Sunwater and Ergon so we can provide a whole of government response to any disasters.
“Participants were assembled without prior knowledge of what the event was and once revealed the aim is to participate in work groups to explore our capacity, identify our roles and evaluate our responses,” Acting Inspector Cameron said.
“These training exercises are invaluable in preparing our emergency services with possible scenarios they may have to respond to.
“In the past we have undertaken simulations relating to pandemics, earthquakes and cyclones.
“These large-scale exercises are held once a year while we regularly hold smaller exercises across the region which stretches to North Burnett.”
Mayor Jack Dempsey, who chairs the Local Disaster Management Group, said the storm surge exercise was important in ensuring the community retained confidence in local emergency services to appropriately respond in times of disaster.
“Being prepared means we must practice for these events. We plan for the worst and hope for the best when disasters come our way,” Mayor Dempsey said.
“We have clearly demonstrated in the past that we have the personnel in our region to respond professionally in times of emergency.
“I would say we have one of the best disaster preparations across the state when it comes to dealing with emergency situations prior to, during and after an event.
Storm surge exercise prompts preparedness reminder
“It is imperative that the community also recognises its role in emergency situations by ensuring all precautions have been put in place prior to these events occurring.
“It is incumbent on the community to know emergency numbers, it’s SES numbers and where to seek reliable information.
“There are simple check lists they need to observe to ensure they are prepared for whatever Mother Nature may throw at us,” Mayor Dempsey said.
“Currently we are in bushfire season, but storm season is just around the corner and it’s certainly not too early to be considering individual Get Ready strategies.”