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Get Ready Gold Coast

Nature Inspired: Live the Beauty. Get ready.

Helen Stubbs | January 2020

Summer means warm weather, long holidays, early mornings playing at the beach and warm evenings enjoying cool drinks.

With thousands of nature and city-based activities to entertain locals and visitors of all ages, the Gold Coast is a glittering playground—a city born of silver waters, golden sand, and inspiring natural beauty.

As a city built in nature we treasure our landscapes to maintain the green and blue city that we love. Immersed in nature, we enjoy its many gifts, but we also have to be prepared for its mood to darken, by preparing an emergency kit.

Your kit should contain enough water and food to last for three days, as well as a battery powered radio and torch, spare batteries, a first aid kit, plus items you might not be able to go without, such as medication, baby formula, pet food and more.

Tallebudgera resident, Kirsten Allen, experienced flooding first hand in 2017 after Cyclone Debbie. Unfortunately it took a severe weather event, but she now keeps a kit on hand with emergency supplies and her important documents.

“We knew the water was going to come into our yards but felt confident we were safe,” says Allen.

“We’d had heavy rains in the hinterland before, but houses hadn’t flooded. We had a barbecue with our neighbours, taking care of each other as we watched the floodwaters come into the bottom of our acreage. People with goats and horses moved them to higher ground,” Allen says. “The water started to recede and we thought it was over. We put our bins out and went to bed.

“The shock came when a neighbour’s boy woke us at 10pm and we went out to see a wall of water coming towards the houses. Half the houses in the street flooded to ankle or knee depth. It was alarming watching the wall of water coming, and we felt helpless because there was nothing we could do to stop it. It was nerve-wracking watching neighbours carry their pets and children to a neighbour’s house on higher ground, watching a teenage boy carrying a toddler, through waist-deep water, to safety.

“We all banded together and helped each other out, and the next day received a lot of support from people coming to help, including councillors and MPs.”

Similarly, local mother and teacher, Lisa Nielsen has experienced damage to her house in high winds. During the Brisbane floods of 2011, her husband was evacuated from work.

“When we were walking at Binna Burra before the bushfires, I talked to my son and his friends about what we’d do in fire. You need to talk with kids so they think about the risks. When the parks are closed, it’s important to keep out. Even after fires, burned trees can become unstable and fall.

The City of Gold Coast website advises residents to make an emergency plan with their family or household so that everyone knows where to go and who to contact if they are caught in a severe weather event.

Nielsen says that some local schools have flood plans for staff and students due to roads getting cut off.

The City of Gold Coast website offers a range of resources to assist locals to prepare for weather events, including the City Dashboard, which lists current information on weather warnings, road conditions and power outages, resources for making a plan as well as what to do during and after a natural disaster.

Prioritise Getting Ready on your holiday to-do list. Make a plan, pack supplies, and make sure you’re covered by insurance, and then enjoy the New Year, confident that you’re ready for the unexpected.

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