Toowoomba Regional Council is well prepared to respond, if and when required, to any situation across the region during the summer storm season.

Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio is encouraging residents across the region to take simple precautions to prepare for any storms that pass our way and the likelihood of more extreme summer heat.

Mayor Antonio said residents should take all necessary precautions to avoid the effects of severe summer heat. He said young children, the elderly and people with health problems were most at risk, but heat stress could affect anyone. Residents should drink plenty of water (avoid alcohol and caffeine), stay out of direct sunlight and check on neighbours.

The Darling Downs also is highly likely to experience thunder, lightning and storms during the peak storm season between now and March.

“Council has been working to make the region much more resilient since the tragic circumstances of the floods in 2011,” Mayor Antonio said.

“Council is better prepared than ever for this storm season, but we need residents to be ready as well.”

Mayor Antonio called on residents to:

• check and clean their roof, gutters and downpipes;
• identify loose objects in their yard, such as outdoor furniture and toys that will have to be put away or secured if a storm approaches; and
• pack an emergency kit to set aside that includes torches, spare batteries, an emergency radio, canned food, UHT milk and bottled water.
• Check full details at www.tr.qld.gov.au/beprepared

Mayor Antonio said Council had been identifying risks within local communities and trying to anticipate what could happen if storms hit.

“We all have a role to play in ensuring that we are prepared for whatever nature throws at us,” Mayor Antonio said.

“People are more aware of how quickly the situation can change when a storm hits.”

Mayor Antonio said if required, the Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) would coordinate with relevant emergency services and would monitor information and warnings from the State Disaster Coordination Centre and the Bureau of Meteorology.

“Council, and in turn the LDMG, will follow established procedures for disaster response and recovery if required,” he said.

“Our top priority is to ensure all residents are safe and well informed about the potential dangers from storms, such as possible flood waters and high winds. It is better to err on the side of caution.

“Motorists are reminded to heed the simple message, ‘If it’s flooded, forget it’. Please observe any warning signs and drive to the conditions.

“Council’s flood early warning system at Oakey and the flood warning indicator lights at Toowoomba city locations offer residents and road users additional safeguards in these events.

“Residents should be vigilant for any fallen powerlines or other hazards in high winds.”

Mayor Antonio also urged residents to observe the ongoing fire ban which has been extended for the Toowoomba Region until Monday, January 6. (This also applies to Southern Downs Regional Council, Western Downs Regional Council and Goondiwindi Regional Council.)

“Residents will be all too aware that the fire season remains active. Please report any fires immediately and listen to, and act on, any warnings that fire authorities issue,” Mayor Antonio said.

In a life threatening emergency call 000 (triple zero) and for emergency flood or storm assistance, call the State Emergency Service on 132 500.

Listen to ABC Radio for relevant disaster information updates and warnings.

Advice about TRC road closures will be notified at www.tr.qld.gov.au/roadclosures

For details about coping in extreme heat, visit https://www.qld.gov.au/emergency/dealing-disasters/heatwave