Residents encouraged to have an emergency plan ready ahead of

Townsville City Council is urging residents to make COVID-19 prevention a priority when they develop their emergency response plans for the wet season.

Townsville Local Disaster Management Group (TLDMG) chairperson and Mayor Jenny Hill said COVID prevention was an important factor being taken into consideration ahead of the disaster season.

“Long term residents are familiar with the wet season but 2020 is unlike any year we’ve faced before,” Cr Hill said.

“We are encouraging people to think about their own well-being. Reach out to loved ones and plan to stay together instead of going to a cyclone shelter. This will reduce the risk posed by COVID-19.

“It is important to pick a safe building and prepare an emergency kit as debris or fallen power lines could isolate you for a few days.”

“The cyclone shelter at Heatley will be available if there is a cyclone and staying COVID-safe will be a key part of the planning process for the TLDMG and emergency services,” Cr Hill said.

“There will be room for residents who need help after a cyclone has crossed the coast but, once again, please plan ahead to stay with family and friends to arrange a place to stay.

TLDMG deputy chairperson Kurt Rehbein said people also needed to think about their pets.

“Dogs and cats are much-loved members of the family and now is a great time to plan ahead,” Cr Rehbein said.

“Check in with family and friends to see if anyone can look after your animals if you have to go to a cyclone shelter or evacuation centre.

“Pets aren’t allowed in shelters unless they are a guidance or assistance dog as we don’t want to risk any dog attacks or trigger any allergies.

“We want to make sure Townsville residents aren’t caught out, so please plan ahead so your family and pets are safe from COVID and any disasters this summer.”

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