Julatten disaster group established

Friday 25 March 2011

Julatten disaster group established


by Mat Churchill

In the wake of Cyclone Yasi, a group of Julatten residents have taken it upon themselves to ensure the region is better equipped to handle the next extreme weather event to visit our shores.

Ying Tee is one of these residents who have responded by helping to create a local Disaster Management Group which will facilitate the sharing of vital resources in times of need.

"It's in its early stages so we've spoken to Council, we've got their support, they've said they're happy to come and book themselves in for our first meeting to help set us up.

"In terms of members there's three or four of us that said yep, we're definitely in it. We're making more personal invitations to people that we think are the key movers and shakers here."

These movers and shakers include local emergency service personnel.

"We will be working in conjunction with Council, the local firies, the SES and any other members of the community to develop very specific practical actions and plans for Julatten." Ying said.

"We will be specifically looking at cyclone and flood mitigation, the management and provision for coastal evacuees, and planning for basic needs of food, water, shelter, power and communications."

Ying said there was undoubtedly a need for greater preparation and a more coordinated response in the event of a potential natural disaster.

"Where we're situated geographically we're very vulnerable. There's potential for us to be cut off on two or three sides and within that there's going to be clusters of people that have their own creeks across their driveways and roads and they'll be cut off.

"Afterwards (post Yasi) there was a big collective sigh of relief. We can't just stop there, whatever happened is most likely going to happen again," she said.

"We want to have plans and provisions for evacuees coming from Port Douglas and Mossman and the coastal areas. But the plan for people up here is to make plans so people can stay in their own home, but they're networked with those people around them."

The group's first meeting is likely to be held in the April school holidays. If you would like to part of the Disaster Management Group or would like help in setting up your local group, please contact the Julatten Community Centre on 4094 2037.