Queensland, what’s your plan?
You’re at work when a massive crack of lightning rents the air, signifying a classic Queensland late afternoon storm is about to hit, just before you leave work. The pounding of glass tells you hail is beginning to fall hard. This storm is really starting to intensify, the sky is dark and it’s looking pretty dangerous outside, so you need to stay at work.
And so the questions begin…
Who’s going to pick up the kids from day-care?
What about the dog, who hates storms and is home alone?
What if we lose power; where did I put the torches and batteries?
When is this storm going to end?
Are my local roads even open?
As a department that runs annual preparedness programs across the state, we know one of the best responses to emergency events is being prepared to respond in the first place.
RACQ Get Ready Week 2016 reiterates this message, by asking all Queenslanders – what’s your plan?
If you’re unsure of what you would do in the situation above, now is the time to sit down with family or have a think about what you might need to organise and how you might get home on our transport network if the unexpected happens.
What are we doing to get ready?
Our experience in responding to severe weather events across Queensland in recent years means we are well placed to respond, whatever this summer brings.
Through our statewide reconstruction program from 2010 to 2013, we completed the largest ever road reconstruction program in Australia, repairing nearly 9000km or 27 percent of all state-owned roads and 1733 bridges, culverts and other structures.
Our teams are ready to close roads where they are unsafe, redirect traffic and assess damage so repairs can be progressed as quickly as possible.
On top of this, as mentioned, the department participates in annual preparedness programs to build resilience across the state. The collaborative program ensures all our staff who are involved with prevention, planning, response or recovery work have the most up to date knowledge.
The program also works with key emergency response stakeholders external to the department to discuss and refine emergency management response plans.
These programs have been put to the test time after time, including the response to Tropical Cyclone Marcia in 2015.
TMR also has rigorous local business continuity plans to we can keep running the event of a disruption.
If I can share one piece of advice from these preparedness activities, it’s that spending a little time now to get a plan in place will save a lot of time stressing and worrying when disaster strikes.
Stay safe, look after yourself and remember – if it’s flooded, forget it!
Chief, Transport Network Security and Resilience