Continuing with our disaster today’s blog is about cyclones. These low-pressure systems form over warm waters but can continue as they progress over cooler waters. For us in Queensland, they are more likely to hit the east coast anywhere between Port Douglas and Maryborough, but that’s not very far north of Brisbane, so don’t count them out here.
Everything that a severe storm and flood can do, a cyclone can do too, which makes them very dangerous. They’re also more likely to cause damage with loose items and debris. Coming from the ocean, boats and sea-side structures are in danger of the massive waves and storm surges produced.
You need to know if your home is in range of the surge tide and plan a designated evacuation site if it is. If it isn’t, then you should consider staying inside which is the best option during a cyclone. However, if your home was built before 1982 or if you are a person with special needs, you should consider staying with friends or family during a cyclone.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) will issue Cyclone Watch when a cyclone is expected to hit within 24-48 hours. When the cyclone is expected within 24 hours, a Cyclone Warning will be issued.
When Cyclone Watch is active, you should make sure you are prepared, but when a Cyclone Warning comes into place, begin enacting your Emergency Plan and grab your Emergency Kit. Unplug all your appliances and turn off mains supply. Make sure your family is inside, in the strongest spot of the house and away from windows, doors, and skylights. If the building begins to break, immediately seek shelter under a strong table, bench, or heavy mattress. And keep updated on the storm’s progress—you should have a battery/manually powered radio for emergencies.
DO NOT GO OUTSIDE UNTIL YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN OFFICAL ADVICE TO DO SO. Some people go outside during the eye of the storm thinking it is safe when it is not. Stay inside until officials state that the cyclone is gone.
While many cyclones never reach land, Australia has a large record of cyclones so it’s better to be prepared. And, cyclones do tend to dissipate when they reach land, but you should still be prepared for one as there have been recorded heading into the middle of the country.