EMERGENCY Services are being kept busy as ex-tropical Cyclone Oswald continues to dump torrential rain over parts of far north Queensland.
Rising flood waters have cut roads and a number of people have had to be rescued, once again highlighting the need to be prepared for the storm season.
Preparing evacuation and emergency kits can save you time and stress in the event of a cyclone, storm time or flood.
Your evacuation kit should include multiple changes of clothes for everyone, stored in watertight plastic bags, pillows, sleeping bags and blankets.
Valuables (prints, compact disks, USB and data cards etc.) should also be stored in water tight containers to protect them.
Be sure to pack extra essential medications and repeat prescriptions, extra toiletry and sanitary supplies toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and shampoo.
Emergency kits should include items that you require during several days disruption to essential services, power and water supplies.
Pack enough food and water for at least three days (10 litres of water per person), non-perishable food, can opener cutlery and cooking equipment.
A first-aid kit and manual should also be included.
Be sure to pack a wind-up torch or lantern, battery-powered radio, a fully charged mobile phone and charger as well as prepaid phone cards or coins to use in pay phones.
Don't forget to pack extra batteries.
A change of warm protective clothes and protective footwear is also recommended, as well as garbage bags, ties, a Stanley knife, duct tape and a basic toolkit.
These are only recommendations; you should include any items of value you feel you'll need if you have to evacuate including insurance papers for your house, contents or vehicle, banking documents, passports, marriage and birth certificates and Medicare and pension cards to name a few.
Finally, keep your kit in a watertight container and store it in an easy accessible location.
Check your kits every three months to stock up and rotate supplies to ensure provisions are safe and fresh to use.
These tips and more steps to prepare for the storm season can be found at www.emergency.qld.gov.au.
The council's Emergency Action Guide can be viewed or downloaded from the Emergency Management page under Community Information on Council's website frasercoast.qld.gov.au.
Residents can also follow emergency updates and information on the council's Facebook page - go to www.facebook.com/FCRC Disaster.
Mal Churchill is Fraser Coast Regional Council's disaster planning co-ordinator.
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