Queensland is well versed in extreme weather events; in fact, we are the most impacted state in Australia when it comes to natural disasters. Spring is an important time for Queenslanders to come together and prepare for extreme weather events ahead of warmer months.
Get Ready Queensland Week, 10 to 14 October 2022, highlights the importance of being prepared for any natural disasters we are likely to experience.
Now is the time to understand the risk, prepare your emergency and business continuity plans and pack an emergency kit.
Your local council is the first point of call for information and direction during a natural disaster.
Bookmark your local council's disaster dashboard so you can quickly find important information on conditions, closures and outages.
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.
Bushfires can affect anyone, anywhere in Queensland. Everyone should be prepared for bushfire.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Service (QFES) research shows the majority of people who are at risk of bushfire aren't well prepared and haven't made key decisions about what they would do if a bushfire threatened their home (or workplace), like whether they would leave or stay.
Queenslanders are urged to make a
bushfire survival plan and
know your risks.
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 for emergency updates
- 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.
Storms and cyclones
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.
Incident and emergency management
Educators and staff should ensure early childhood service
evacuation procedures are up-to-date and rehearsed at least every 3 months. Read the
guidelines on developing emergency and evacuation policies and procedures.
Notifying of a closure
If your service needs to close due to damage, the approved provider must notify the Regulatory Authority within 24 hours of closure. Further information about how to do this is available on our
Early childhood service closures page.
Families and members of the public can access up-to-date information about service closures via the
Service and temporary closure information webpage on the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) website.
Supporting children before and after a disaster
The Queensland Centre for Perinatal and Infant Mental Health has designed a series of online books and games to assist parents, carers and teachers help young children process their fears and emotions during and after a disaster event.
Take a look at the Birdie's Tree books and resources.
You can also share with your families what you have done to prepare for a natural disaster, including evacuation procedures and how they will be notified if they need to collect their child. This can help ease their minds if they can't immediately be with their child during a weather event.
Maybe challenge your families to get ready, too!
For more information on natural disasters and how to get ready, visit getready.qld.gov.au.