Is your service prepared for cyclones and other natural disasters?


​​​​​​​​​​Queenslanders are impacted by more natural disasters than anyone else in Australia. Being prepared for severe weather is part and parcel of living here​. So, it is important to get ready.

If your service is affected by a cyclone, bushfire or any other natural disaster and a decision is made to close, approved providers must notify the Regulatory Authority of the service’s closure as per National Regu​lations, r 175(2)(b).

Notifying of a closure

Find out how to notify the Regulatory Authority on the early childhood service closures page.

Please phone your local regional office if you lose internet access and staff will enter the notification for you. You may wish to save your local regional ​office phone number on a mobile phone beforehand.

Families and members of the public can access up-to-date information about service closures via the service and temporary closure information page on the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) website.

Preparing for extreme weather

Given Queensland’s unpredictable and extreme weather, now is the time to prepare for bushfires and other natural disasters, including understanding the risks, reviewing emergency and business continuity plans and packing an emergency kit.

Queenslanders are urged to make a bushfire survival plan and know your risks.

Make sure that your service’s roof, gutter and downpipes are free of leaves to reduce the risk of embers taking hold and so that stormwater can drain quickly instead of backing up and overflowing in the case of wet weather.

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.

Incident and emergency management

Services should ensure their emergency and evacuation policies and procedures are current and that parents are notified of any changes to these policies and procedures.

Regularly review your emergency and evacuation procedures and rehearse them at each approved education and care service.

This will help educators and staff to handle emergencies calmly, reducing the risk of harm or injury.

Given the inherent nature of emergency and evacuation situations, relevant policies and procedures should be sufficiently detailed and well understood so that all staff can react confidently and undertake their designated role in an emergency situation.

To comply with legislation and to be effective, emergency and evacuation policy and procedures must be rehearsed and documented every 3 months.

Monitoring disasters

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.

Storms and cyclones

Tall trees near your service 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.

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 or if the situation is life threatening, phone 000.​

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.

Supporting the child 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 to ​help young children process their fears and emotions during and after a disaster event.​​​​ Take a look at Birdie's Tree books and resources for more information.

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 Get Ready Queensland.

Back to news feed
Last updated 08 December 2023