Storms and floods reveal need for public education campaign on disasters

After South-East Queensland’s wild weekend of storms, the Queensland Government should consider a public education campaign on how to stay safe during storms and floods, as the Bureau of Meteorology obviously doesn’t see that as its role. While the Bureau has received criticism over not issuing strong warnings (see the Courier-Mail this morning), I agree with its judgment that:

“The Bureau of Meteorology doesn’t aim to issue warnings for every thunderstorm, but uses thresholds to ensure there isn’t complacency in the community due to over-warning.”

There remains the problem, however, that younger generations, including many of my own generation X, don’t take sufficient precautions for disasters. This was obvious in my Toowong apartment building during the 2011 flood when many of the younger residents didn’t have a torch, candles or matches. Also, the many people who went out yesterday afternoon would have realised it was unwise to have done so after the storm arrived.

The weekend storms could have done much greater damage to property and lives and we are thankful they didn’t. The Government now has the opportunity to educate the public about how to prepare for storms and floods and to keep themselves out of harms way.

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