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CYCLONE RISK: Whitsunday residents told to call on friends

By Mark Beale

This cyclone season, residents living in the low lying coastal areas of the Whitsundays are urged to call on their friends or family members who live in safer places for shelter, in case they need to evacuate.

Mayor and Chair of the Whitsunday Disaster Management Group Jenny Whitney said that the risk of storm surge is the most dangerous hazard associated with cyclones.

“For residents located in evacuation zones, pre‐arranging safer accommodation is the best option, and will enable your immediate action in the case of an evacuation order being issued for storm surge threat,” Mayor Whitney said.

“Options could include sheltering with family, friends or colleagues that live in secure accommodation located outside the evacuation zones.

“I encourage all residents to visit the council website to check whether they live in an evacuation zone.”

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

“If you do live in an evacuation zone, establish an evacuation plan for yourself and your family to shelter with friends or family located in safer places.

“If you don’t live in an evacuation zone, you can support your family or friends who do, by offering them the option to come and shelter with you in the case of an evacuation order.”

The Proserpine and Bowen Public Cyclone Shelters will be the last option for people seeking safety from a severe weather event.

The purposes of these centres are to provide protection from the effects of a cyclone to people evacuated from potential storm tide inundation areas and those with no other shelter option.

Mayor Whitney said residents with no other options for safe accommodation will be advised when the Public Cyclone Shelters will be accessible.

“Activation of Public Cyclone Shelters will be made known via media and other sources at the time when the threat becomes imminent and all such centres should be treated as a last resort when there is nowhere else to go,” she said.

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