Cyclone Kirrily: Your comprehensive list of emergency resources

Man working at a laptop with a bunch of bright neon emergency-related icons superimposed over the image.

With Cyclone Kirrily on track to hit Queensland this week, residents are bracing for another major weather event, all too soon after being battered by Cyclone Jasper. Strong winds and widespread flooding are among the expected threats, prompting cautious preparations across the state.

Townsville, Ayr, and Palm Island are expected to face the brunt of the storm's fury.

Preparedness can help in these situations, and having the right information at your fingertips can make a big difference. That’s why we’ve put together this guide that includes government agencies, nonprofits and online alert services, all aimed at helping you in various ways. Whether it's assembling your emergency kit, planning your evacuation, reconnecting with loved ones or providing tailored support for people with hearing impairments, these resources may prove to be invaluable for you.

While this guide is primarily tailored for Queenslanders, many of the resources are valuable Australia-wide. So, whether you're directly affected or simply want to be better prepared for future weather events, this list can be a lifesaver. 

With no time to waste, let’s jump in:

Emergency resources for Queensland and Australia

1. Triple zero. In Australia, 000 is the primary emergency service number to contact in life-threatening or urgent situations. It's the quickest way to get through to police, fire or ambulance services during a crisis, including natural disasters. 

For life-threatening or urgent situations dial 000

2. Australian Red Cross: Register.Find.Reunite. This service allows individuals in affected areas to register themselves as safe, and also enables others to check on the well-being of their loved ones. This service can be accessed from any computer or mobile device, and is also available at evacuation and recovery centres.

Register yourself or check in on a loved one

3. Early Warning Network (EWN). EWN provides severe weather alerts and forecasts, helping you stay prepared for events like cyclones. Their service includes monitoring for thunderstorms, wind, lightning and flooding. It's a useful tool for receiving timely notifications and insights about severe weather conditions. You can access EWN's services through various platforms, ensuring you stay informed no matter where you are.

Stay ahead of severe weather with EWN  

4. Get Ready Queensland. This resource offers a wealth of information on disaster preparedness, including a detailed guide to assembling an emergency kit. It covers key areas like home safety, family emergency plans, understanding weather alerts and considerations for pets during emergencies. An essential tool for Queensland residents, it aids in preparing comprehensively for natural disasters.

For detailed disaster preparedness info visit Get Ready Queensland

5. Queensland Government Disaster Management Website. A comprehensive platform offering various resources for disaster management. It includes current warnings for ongoing disasters, tools for understanding and mitigating disaster risks, resources for preparedness and training, as well as access to strategic planning documents and publications related to disaster management. This website is an invaluable resource for residents needing information on preparation, response, and recovery from disasters.

Explore Queensland's Disaster Management Resources

6. State Emergency Service (SES). This volunteer-based branch of Queensland's Emergency and Fire Services plays a key role in responding to various emergencies, including cyclones, severe storms, floods, earthquakes and landslides. For immediate assistance during such events, especially flood and storm emergencies, contact SES at 132 500. You can also request help through their Android and Apple mobile apps or their web app. 

Contact SES for emergency assistance on 132 500

7. Insurance Council of Australia (ICA). The ICA offers guidance and support on insurance-related matters during disasters, such as cyclones and floods. They provide essential information on lodging claims, understanding insurance coverage and navigating through post-disaster insurance processes. Their resources are key in assisting individuals and businesses with insurance concerns following emergencies.

Visit the Insurance Council of Australia

8. ABC Emergency. Leveraging the resources of a major media organisation, ABC Emergency offers accessible and comprehensive emergency updates. This platform stands out by providing clear, digestible content, essential for understanding the complexities of emergencies like cyclones. Their coverage includes real-time news, safety instructions and extensive guidance on emergency preparedness, tailored to a wide audience for easy comprehension and application.

Visit ABC Emergency for Comprehensive Updates

9. Local council websites. Local council websites are key for obtaining region-specific information during emergencies. These sites offer localised updates, resources and guidance directly relevant to your area. They are unique in providing community-specific emergency plans, evacuation routes and recovery services, ensuring that residents receive the most pertinent and actionable information.

Find your local council’s website and contact information

10. Queensland Community Recovery Services. This website is a comprehensive source for post-disaster recovery, offering access to the Community Recovery Hotline for telephone support and information on local Community Recovery Hubs for in-person assistance. It also provides details on how to apply for recovery grants, making it a central portal for recovery assistance and resources, aiding individuals and communities in navigating the recovery process.

For hotline support, call: 1800 173 349

To apply for grants or locate a Recovery Hub visit Community Recovery Grants Portal

11. Lifeline Australia. Lifeline specialises in crisis support, offering mental health and counselling services that are particularly helpful in times of natural disasters. Providing a listening ear, advice and professional guidance, they assist individuals experiencing emotional distress. Their phone support service ensures that immediate, accessible help is available for those in need of emotional and mental support.

For crisis support and counselling, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14

12. Bureau of Meteorology (BoM). The BoM stands out for its authoritative weather forecasting and cyclone tracking services. As the primary meteorological organisation in Australia, it provides detailed, scientifically-backed weather information. This includes precise cyclone paths, intensity predictions and timing, which are essential for effective planning and response to weather emergencies.

For accurate weather information and cyclone tracking visit Bureau of Meteorology

13. Queensland Police Service. The Queensland Police Service website offers practical information for ensuring public safety, particularly useful in preparing for or responding to emergencies. The site can be utilised to stay informed about road conditions, public safety alerts and any relevant law enforcement updates during natural disasters. This resource can help residents make informed decisions about travel safety and understand any emergency regulations or procedures in place.

For up-to-date safety information and services visit Queensland Police Service

14. National Relay Service (NRS).
The NRS is a communication service for people with hearing or speech impairments. It offers several ways to facilitate communication, including video relay, voice relay and SMS relay. In disaster situations, the NRS is instrumental for users needing to contact emergency services for aid or to communicate with family members to ensure their safety. The NRS is available 24/7, except for video relay which is available 7am to 6pm AEST Monday to Friday and 8am to 12pm Saturday, excluding public holidays.

Learn about the National Relay Service

15. Disaster Assist. Disaster Assist, as a federal service, uniquely collates information on nationwide recovery efforts and assistance programs. It details various forms of aid available after disasters, including financial support for affected individuals and communities. It also provides resources and links to services across different government agencies, making it a comprehensive source for those seeking wider-ranging government assistance during recovery.

For detailed disaster recovery assistance visit Disaster Assist

It's times like these that remind us of the strength and resilience embodied by all Aussies. Keep these resources close at hand, and remember, the most effective defence in any emergency is preparedness and staying informed. Stay safe, and let's support each other through the challenges ahead.