Preparing for Evacuation
Consider your shelter and evacuation options
If you live in an area prone to flood, bushfire or other natural disasters, plan now for evacuation to save time and stress in the event an emergency.
The need to evacuate may happen at short notice, so residents are urged to prepare in advance.
In the event of an emergency situation, everyone has a responsibility for their own personal safety, and should monitor conditions and warnings - taking action when needed. The Lockyer Valley Disaster Dashboard provides up to date information to keep our community informed.
You should pre-plan where you will go, how you will get there and what routes you will take.
People with disability or are aged and need support are more vulnerable to injury and social isolation during a disaster, but this risk can be reduced by having a person centred emergency plan including any additional support and items needed for their evacuation.
When evacuations are necessary, you will be told through the media or by other warning methods. These include:
- Disaster Dashboard
- Grantham Siren
- Emergency Alert system
- telephone calls using the national emergency alert system
- an SMS message to your mobile from 0444 444 444. Please do not block this number as it is used to deliver the emergency alert during disasters.
- a voice message to your landline within a set geographic area
Types of Evacuation
People may choose to leave early based on forecast conditions. If you plan to leave early, then you must leave your home well before the disaster threatens and travelling by road becomes hazardous.
This is your self-initiated decision to move to a safer place.
An individual can choose to self-evacuate based on available information prior to a directed evacuation. Exposed persons who may be impacted by an impending hazard are encouraged to commence evacuation voluntarily.
Exposed persons are directed under legislation to evacuate an exposed area or part of the area .
What to do if you need to evacuate when evacuation is imminent:
- Tune into warnings
- Ensure all householders are aware of the warnings and advice provided
- Don’t wait to be told – self evacuate to your predetermined evacuation destination if you live in a flood prone area or require support – inform your family/neighbours/friends if you do plan to self evacuate.
- Plan your evacuation route to avoid flood water and other possible hazards
- Raise furniture, equipment, clothing and valuables if flood water is likely to enter your home or under your home
- Empty fridges and freezers, leaving the doors open
- Place sandbags (strong plastic bags full of sand or earth) in the toilet bowl and over all laundry/bathroom drain holes to prevent sewage back-flow
- Call your out of town contact before you leave and once you arrive at your evacuation location
- Charge your mobile phone
- Check your neighbours and friends who may need special assistance
- Prepare your animals
- Fill your petrol tank and stock your car with emergency supplies
- Evacuate your business
When you have been told to evacuate:
- Act quickly on the advice provided
- Follow all instructions by emergency authorities and react to changing conditions
- Take your emergency kit and evacuation kit and commence your evacuation arrangements
- Pack your medication, cash and phone chargers
- Turn off all power, water and gas and unplug all appliances
- Ensure all family members are wearing strong shoes and suitable clothing
- Travel light – do not risk your safety with replaceable possessions
- If available – consider putting call-forwarding on and forward your home phone number to your mobile phone number.
- Secure and lock your home and other buildings and take the safest evacuation routes for your area
- Seek shelter at your predetermined evacuation location
- If you are visiting or holidaying in the region and do not have family or friends to shelter with, contact your accommodation provider immediately to identify options for evacuation
- Do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters.
For non-emergency communications, use text messaging, e-mail, or social media instead of making voice calls on your mobile phone to avoid tying up voice networks. Data-based services like texts and emails are less likely to experience network congestion. You can also use social media to post your status to let family and friends know you are okay.
Animals and evacuation
Animals are your responsibility, even during an emergency or disaster. Visit Caring for Animals in Emergencies for further information to assist with planning for evacuation with animals.
Where can I go?
Shelter in Place if safe to so
Depending on the severity of the disaster event, the warnings from authorities and the condition of the structure you are in, sheltering in place may be the safest option for you. If you live in a well constructed home not directly impacted by the impacts of the disaster, your best option is to plan and prepare to shelter in place in your home with your family, friends and neighbours. Plan what you will do if the circumstances change posing a risk to you and your family's safety.
Evacuate to Shelter in a Safer Place
If you are potentially at risk, your best option is to prearrange your evacuation so you can shelter in a safer place, such as:
- Sheltering with family, friends or neighbours is strongly encouraged when you cannot 'shelter in place'. Arrange to shelter with family, friends or neighbours in a safer place away from the immediate or potential effects of the hazard. This should be your first evacuation solution.
- In commercial accommodation (such as a motel) in another location outside the warning or impacted area.
Place of refuge
Places of refuge are capable of providing people with shelter from an impending disaster. This is a short term place to shelter or take refuge as the effects of the disaster unfold.
Meet at an assembly point
Assembly points are also considered a safer location. An assembly point is a temporarily designated location specifically selected as a point which is not anticipated to be adversely affected by the hazard. Assembly points are often utilised as a means of gathering evacuees prior to their coordinated movement to other facilities.
Seeking refuge at an evacuation centre should be your last resort as they are not a resort.
Evacuation centres should only be used if you have nowhere else to go.
Evacuation centres may be open as a place of last resort to provide emergency shelter. If an evacuation centre is being opened in the Lockyer Valley, the location will be communicated through Council's media channels.