"Get ready now" | Preparing for extreme weather
With bushfires already devastating both Queensland and NSW, and as our customers and communities preparing for the upcoming severe weather event season, Queensland State Emergency Service (SES) Assistant Commissioner Andrew Short joined the Suncorp Talks podcast to urge communities to get ready now.
“Anyone who lives on the Queensland coast would know it’s not a case of if it’s going to happen, it’s a case of when it’s going to happen.”
Andrew Short is the Assistant Commissioner at the Queensland SES and leads the strategy, policy and planning for SES service delivery, in association with the Queensland Government.
As the primary responder for storm and flood events across Queensland the SES has witnessed firsthand the heartbreaking effect natural disasters have on communities.
“You may see the immediate impact on TV but it’s much deeper than that,” Mr Short said.
“Societal and community links are broken sometimes…things that families do every week have to stop happening, whether it be sport, or kids involved in activities. And there’s certainly an impact on businesses when they’re not able to operate for a period.”
The SES is primarily designed to empower individuals to help themselves and others in their community in times of emergency and disaster. With around 6,200 active and unpaid members the Queensland SES performs a diverse range of functions to respond to Local, State and National disasters and emergencies.
Members are trained and equipped to help their communities with their primary purpose being to assist the most vulnerable members of the community.
It’s why Suncorp and the SES share the same passion for helping communities prepare for whatever nature throws our way, to keep our properties and families safe, year-round.
As part of the preparation efforts, our people will be in Townsville throughout November running Storm Ready Streets, a community program encouraging residents to get active in preparing their home, street, school or community group.
You’ll also see our people exhibiting at Disaster Ready Day on 3 November, an event run by the Townsville City Council. The event will feature demonstrations, on sandbagging, emergency window repairs, and what community members should do if they're in a disaster situation.
“The reality is when these larger events happen, there’s going to be a time delay before help may get to you,” Mr Short said.
The days of a fire brigade or an SES being there to pick up all the pieces has changed now, and we need people to educate themselves about the type of risk that’s around them and take steps.
"There are lots of things people can do well before an event to give them the best chance of getting through.
“In some of the best cases, we’ve seen communities who work very well together, so that when an event happens, they’re not going through it alone,” Mr Short said.