Be ready for a cyclone says council /Newsport (copy 1)

Be 'cyclone ready' says council

Wednesday March 5 2014

Douglas Shire Council is urging residents to be prepared for natural disasters.

The council will hold a community information session at the new Port Douglas Storm Tide Cyclone Shelter this week.

Emergency service providers will be in attendance, providing information on effective disaster planning.

Douglas Shire Council General Manager Operations Paul Hoye said residents shouldn't wait until the last minute to come up with their emergency plan.

"We can’t afford to be complacent about the dangers cyclones and floods present," Mr Hoye said.   

Under council's current plans the shelter will only be activated in the event of a storm surge during or following a cyclone.

Mr Hoye said people in affected areas with nowhere else to go can take refuge at the shelter."

An evacuation order for a cyclone is only issued if lives may be at risk from a storm tide surge," he said.

"Residents are not evacuated in the Douglas region based on wind-threat.

"Evacuees should seek pre-arranged temporary shelter with family, friends or neighbours in safe, higher places outside the evacuation zones."

Mr Hoye added tourism operators must develop plans to ensure the safety of any patrons or guests.

"Accommodation providers need to ensure they have plans in place to manage the evacuation or have other suitable agreements in place," he said.

The $5.5 million shelter, completed in March 2013, was built by the State Government in partnership with the United Arab Emirates following Cyclone Yasi.

The information session will be held at the Port Douglas Storm Tide Cyclone Shelter, located at the Port Douglas State School on Thursday, March 6, 2015 between 3:30 and 5:30pm.