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Put safety first in severe weather

26/02/2013

Queenslanders are being reminded to put their safety first during the current severe weather after a flood-related death, a spate of swift water rescues and ongoing requests for assistance to the State Emergency Service (SES).

Police and Community Safety Minister Jack Dempsey said while rainfall had kept emergency crews extremely busy across the central and southern coastal parts of the State, it was not over yet.

“The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has predicted that while the current rainfall across the coast will ease in the next 24 hours, a second trough is expected to impact on the central and southern inland parts of the State on Thursday before decreasing as it moves towards the eastern coastline this weekend,” Mr Dempsey said.

“The ground in these areas is already saturated and this additional rainfall could result in flash flooding. It is vital residents avoid entering floodwaters and ensure their property is adequately prepared.

“There is no excuse for people who ignore the advice of emergency authorities and deliberately drive through floodwaters. People must realise they are not invincible and they are not only putting their life at risk but the lives of their rescuers.

“Water, even to the bottom of your car door, is enough to float your vehicle away or stall its engine. Gentle moving floodwater can also wash away the road surface underneath.

“The message is simple, if it’s flooded, forget it.”

Mr Dempsey said the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) was well prepared for this weather event and had deployed Swift Water Rescue Technicians to areas of known risk.

“QFRS has also reviewed its severe weather alert levels in the affected regions to ensure crews are well aware and resources and staff are in place should they be required.”

Mr Dempsey said residents should tune into their local radio station and monitor the BoM website to stay informed.

“If your home is at risk of flooding, move indoor and outdoor items, garbage, vehicles, chemicals and poisons to higher locations. Keep your emergency kit close-by and ensure it is well-stocked with essential supplies.

“The storm activity could create strong wind gusts so it is vital to be aware of the dangers associated with falling tree branches.”

For flood and storm assistance contact the State Emergency Service (SES) on 132 500 and for life-threatening emergencies dial triple zero (000).

Further information on weather warnings can be found at the BoM website at www.bom.gov.au or by tuning into your local radio.

For more information on how to prepare visit www.disaster.qld.gov.au.


Contact for media enquiries: DCS media unit on (07) 3635 3310.


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