The past 11 days have been extremely busy within the Cassowary Coast with the significant weather event on the 10 March, ironically 100 years after the devastating Cyclone of 1918 to the Queen’s Baton Relay sweeping through the region. A month of low, lows and high, highs but true to form our community met the challenges of the weather event head on and soldiered on to greet the Baton with huge smiles and pride.
During the significant weather event the SES received 123 calls for assistance and undertook 245 jobs within the region. The Department of Communities conducted 233 outreach visits and received 103 grant applications. The Queensland Fire and Rescue Service conducted 199 Rapid Damage Assessments.
During a disaster there are 3 stages that are recognised:
Preparedness –before the event when tasks are undertaken to alleviate the effects on lives and property.
Response –during and immediately after the event and can last up to 10 days. It involves making sure residents are safe and responding to pressing issues i.e. power reconnection, road access etc., and assessing damage to personal property and infrastructure.
Recovery – there are three stages to recovery, the first being Post Impact & Early Recovery of which the Cassowary Coast is now in. This phase includes -
- Impact and damage assessments.
- Establishment of Local Level Recovery Groups with operations transitioning from response to short-term recovery.
- Development of the Local Recovery Plan.
- Event response activities assumed by relevant agencies for recovery and reconstruction.
The Second phase will see the recovery and reconstruction process undertaken through a methodical process to gain the required outcomes for the community. Stage 3 is when the final handover of recovery and reconstruction to agencies and organisations is undertaken to enable and assist the community to transition into business as usual.
I would like to commend the excellent efforts of all the staff from the various agencies who worked tirelessly through the event and are still working hard through recovery and congratulate the community on their preparedness and resilience.