JT helps Toowoomba students get ready for natural disasters

Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympics Infrastructure The Honourable Dr Steven Miles

Students and staff at Mary MacKillop Catholic College in Toowoomba are better prepared for natural disasters thanks to a visit from Get Ready Queensland Ambassador Johnathan Thurston today.

JT and the Get Ready Queensland team toured the school and spoke to students and staff about the dangers of damaging storms, bushfires and other severe weather events as well as the steps they can take to better protect themselves and others when disaster strikes.

Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for the Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA) Steven Miles said Mary MacKillop Catholic College won the visit as the random draw winner of the 2021 Get Ready Queensland schools competition.

“Queensland is the most disaster impacted state in Australia, with almost 90 severe weather events hitting the state since 2011,” Mr Miles said.

“With the Bureau of Meteorology predicting another wet and possibly wild summer, it’s more important than ever that our communities are ready for whatever Mother Nature throws at them.

“JT is a Queensland legend who has experienced the impacts of natural disasters up close following the widespread flooding that inundated Townsville in 2019.

“I’m sure the students and staff at Mary MacKillop will have learnt some valuable lessons from JT and the Get Ready team today about how they can prepare for natural disasters.”

Get Ready Queensland Ambassador and rugby league legend Johnathan Thurston congratulated the students and said today’s visit was a great opportunity to talk about how they and their families are preparing for the upcoming season.

“I spent some of my school years here in Toowoomba so it was great to come back and talk to students and staff about getting ready for natural disasters,” he said.

“Queenslanders go through more disasters than anyone else in Australia but Get Ready research shows almost half of Queenslanders will wait for an actual or impending disaster to get prepared.

“Today’s visit was a great chance for us to discuss some simple steps to get ready, including what items to pack in an emergency kit, how to prepare a household emergency plan and even what goes into a pet emergency kit.”

Mary MacKillop Catholic College Principal Chris Gabbett said the visit from JT and the Get Ready Queensland team was an amazing experience for students and staff.

“Toowoomba is no stranger to severe weather unfortunately, having been ground zero for the unprecedented flooding that devastated much of South-East Queensland in 2011,” Mr Gabbett said.

“Most of our students weren’t even born then but it was great to have JT and the Get Ready Queensland crew here today to remind everyone of not only the dangers of natural disasters but how they can protect themselves and their loved ones when these types of events occur.

“Everyone is buzzing from the visit and I’m sure many of the students will go home tonight and talk to their parents about preparing a household emergency plan and packing an emergency kit, which is a great outcome for our community.”

The Get Ready Queensland program is a year-round, all-hazards, resilience building initiative to help communities prepare for natural disasters, which is proudly sponsored by Suncorp.

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