Groups set to face emergency
A CYCLONE crosses the coast at Rainbow Beach at the peak holiday season.
The power is out, the roads are cut by floods, your telephone landline connection is not functioning, people are injured and trapped, there is no drinking water, the toilets will not flush, there is a growing tide of camper refugees marooned without shelter, food or essential medicines and vessels are missing on the water.
On top of permanent Rainbow Beach, Tin Can Bay and Cooloola Cove residents in immediate need, the numbers needing help, shelter or even evacuation is being constantly augmented by campers driven out from Fraser Island, Inskip Point and Teewah Beach.
You have up to 3000 Inskip Point campers unable to get any further than Rainbow Beach, on top of those from other camping areas, adding to the Beach’s much enlarged population of visitors at peak times, as well as permanent residents.
Also, you cannot get money out of the ATM, even if there is somewhere to spend it or anything to buy.
In this moment of chaos, there is no law and order, no security and, without a battery-powered radio, there is no information.
There is also no light, unless you have a torch with good batteries or candles and a means of lighting them.
Who ya gonna call?
Probably no-one unless your mobile is charged up.
And even then, you will need to budget your battery, because there is no way to re-charge it.
Fortunately, it almost does not matter which emergency service you manage to make contact with or how you manage to do it.
They all know each other and are familiar with each other’s specialised abilities and fortunately help is probably already on the way.
That is because of a big communication exercise held at Tin Can Bay yesterday, with major council, police, rescue, Centrelink, emergency, paramedical and volunteer community support groups all represented.
Gympie Region Mayor Ron Dyne and Local Disaster Management Group chair Julie Walker, who organised yesterday’s event, said it was important for people to keep in touch in order to work together effectively.
Crs Rae Gate and Donna Neilson also attended the meeting, which included multiple representatives from about 19 local expert professional and volunteer service groups.
They included Gympie and Sunshine Coast regional councils, St Vincent de Paul, Tin Can Bay Coast Guard, Queensland Ambulance Service, Red Cross, Lifeline, Energex, the Salvation Army, Queensland Police, QBuild, Centrelink, the Gympie Communication and Electronic Group, Tin Can Bay State Emergency Service, St John Ambulance, the AGL Rescue Helicopter Service, the Queensland Country Women’s Association, Queensland Fire and Rescue Service and Emergency Management Queensland.