By actively preparing your home, business and yourselves, you can improve the safety of your family and help to lessen the impact of any disaster event.
Disaster readiness checklist
The Disaster Readiness Index (on the Volunteering Queensland website) is a checklist which focuses on things you need to know, actions you should be taking and your understanding of your environment before and after a disaster event.
By completing the checklist, you will gain an understanding of ways you can improve the readiness of you and your family.
Flood / storm tide maps
Check Council's flood / storm tide maps to determine if your home/business is in a flood or storm tide prone area. Knowing these risks will help you identify actions to take when faced with an event.
Household emergency plan
A household emergency plan contains key information and strategies which will help your family cope with a range of emergency and disaster situations.
Is it important to involve all household members when preparing your emergency plan. This should include discussing possible scenarios and responses.
Your emergency plan should be kept in a safe place where everyone can find it and should be practiced regularly to ensure everyone will know what action to take to prepare for and respond to a disaster event.
Important information which needs to be recorded on your emergency plan:
- Household contact details
- Emergency contact people outside the immediate family
- Emergency contact numbers and other important phone numbers
- Escape routes
- Utility shut off and safety
- Caring for pets and animals
- Meeting places in case you get separated or need to evacuate
- Personal medical information for household members
Red Cross emergency REDiPlan is a four step easy-to-follow process to prepare your household for an emergency.
A well stocked emergency kit will enable you and your family to be able to cope with several days disruption to essential services, power and water supplies.
The kit should be regularly checked to ensure items are fresh and safe to use and should be kept in a safe and easily accessible place.
Ideally, prepare a kit with all the following items (or at least make a list so you will know where to find them quickly if required):
- Battery-operated radio (with spare batteries)
- Torch with spare batteries or a gas lantern and waterproof matches
- Strong shoes, gloves, hats and protective clothing
- First aid kit & manual
- Medications, toiletry and sanitary supplies
- Water in sealed containers – 10 litres per person (3 days supply)
- Canned or dried food with tin opener and utensils (3 days supply)
- Pet food, water and other animal needs
- Portable stove and fuel
- Household emergency plan with contact numbers
- Car charger for mobile phone
If you live in a low-lying coastal area or an area identified as flood prone, it is also advisable to prepare an evacuation kit in case you are required to leave your home.
In addition to the emergency kit, an evacuation kit should also contain:
- Multiple changes of clothing
- Sleeping bags, pillows and blankets
- Valuables, photos and mementos in waterproof plastic bags
- Books and games for children
- Baby food, formula and nappies (if required)
- Extra cash (ATMs may be inoperable)
Preparing your home
Preparing your home and property each year prior to the disaster season may minimise any potential damage.
Preparation of your home should include:
- General home maintenance - maintaining the condition of the roof, guttering etc, clearing gutters and drainpipes, trimming trees and cleaning garden debris, securing loose items
- Insurance - ensuring your home is adequately and appropriately insured
- Utilities - identifying where and how to turn off the mains supply
eg. water, power and gas
- Equipment - stocking your house with emergency essential
eg. water, spare fuel and sandbags
If your house is in a high risk area for a particular risk such as flood or bushfire, you may need to take extra precautionary measures, see information for a specific risk under know the risks.
Know your neighbours
Disasters rarely (if ever) only impact one house in a neighbourhood.
By knowing your neighbours and being aware of their circumstances, you may be able to identify who might need additional assistance or who may be able to help you.
Your family and your household will be much safer if you share your knowledge with your neighbours and work together to have a safer community.
Do your kids feel safe?
You know how to keep our kids physically safe, but how do you prepare them emotionally for dangerous weather?
Read Do your kids feel safe? [PDF 670KB].