At this time of year, Queensland is vulnerable to many natural hazards such as bushfires, cyclones and storms.
That's why the start of summer is a good time to make sure your early childhood education and care service is prepared for the season ahead.
Make sure that the roof, gutter and downpipes of your service are free of leaves so that stormwater can drain quickly instead of backing up and overflowing.
Bushfire preparation also involves cleaning gutters to reduce the risk of embers taking hold.
Nearby tall trees should be checked by an arborist to ensure they can withstand the combination of strong winds and wet soil, and any overhanging branches should be trimmed.
Your service will need a comprehensive first aid kit as well as an emergency kit containing the following items:
- wide masking tape for windows
- battery-powered radio tuned to your
local ABC station
- torches with spare batteries
- charged mobile phone and a hardcopy list of family contacts
- phone numbers for emergency services
- large garbage bags for emergency rain protection.
Monitoring for storms
The Queensland Government's
disasters and alerts provides real-time emergency updates and social media links to vital services and local councils.
Some local governments send severe weather alerts to subscribers by email and SMS. Check your council’s website to see whether they offer this service.
As a major storm approaches, playgrounds should be cleared of loose items such as play equipment, toys and furniture.
Inside, electrical equipment should be disconnected and stored away from windows.
Depending on the severity of the event, families may need to be contacted and asked to collect their children.
During the storm
Children who cannot be collected before the storm should be entertained in a safe location indoors with quiet activities such as reading, drawing and using playdough.
A staff member should be tasked with collecting blankets, drinks, food, nappies, formula and cuddly toys to ensure the children feel safe and secure.
In case of emergency, phone 000 if the situation is life threatening.
If there is damage to buildings, phone the State Emergency Service (SES) on 132 500. For disruptions to power and water supply, visit
disasters and alerts.
Notifying of a closure
If your service needs to close due to storm damage, the approved provider must notify the Regulatory Authority through the
emergency closures portal.
It's a good idea to bookmark the emergency closures portal and check your log-in at the start of storm season in preparation for when you might need to use it.
If you experience any problems logging in, please contact
email@example.com for assistance.
If you use the portal, you do not need to submit any other closure notification to the department or National Quality Agenda Information Technology System (NQAITS).
The closure will automatically display on the Department of Education's
emergency closed facilities webpage where families can access 'real time' information after a disaster.
Get Ready Queensland for more helpful tips about preparing for storms and other natural disasters.