EMERGENCY SHELTER INFORMATION
A good emergency survival plan includes knowing where you and your family and pets will shelter. Read below to find out more about your shelter options during a cyclone or flood.
Sheltering at home during a cyclone
Since Severe Tropical Cyclone Tracy in 1974, building codes have required buildings in cyclone-prone areas to incorporate cyclone resistant construction. Buildings that comply with the Building Code of Australia are generally referred to as being "built to code".
If your house has been built to code and has been well maintained, you should shelter at home. If your house is not to code, you should consider sheltering with family or friends who have a house built to code.
When sheltering in any home it is important to use the strongest, most protected part of the house. This is usually the smallest room in the house with small or no windows.
Points to remember
- Small rooms are generally stronger than large rooms
- Central hallways might give greater protection because they are surrounded by the rest of the house
- Rooms with few or small windows are better than those with large windows
- Solid doors with additional securing bolts give greater security than standard doors
- Metal screens or solid shutters give added protection against flying debris
To learn more about improving the safety of your home in the event of a cyclone, please see our Publications.
Preparing your home and shelter area before a cyclone
- Where possible, board your windows from the outside or block them from the inside using a mattress and some strong sturdy furniture
- Remove pictures and valuables from walls and shelving
- Place valuables and precious items in strong water-proof garbage bags and tape up
- Pack away all loose items into cupboards and secure cupboard doors if possible
- Prepare your shelter area with mattresses, blankets, pillows, emergency kit with radio, items to keep everyone occupied and facilities for pets if they are sharing your shelter
If you choose to evacuate, you should leave early.
Points to remember
- Evacuate well before strong winds affect your area
- Allow time to secure and protect your property
- You may need to sustain yourself and your family for a few days, so be prepared
- Listed to radio or television broadcasts and only return when the "all clear" is given
- Advise friends of plans and confirm your safe return
Please note that Mackay Regional Council does have one public cyclone shelter located at the Northern Beaches High School available for use during a Category 3 cyclone or above. Space is very limited and conditions of entry will apply. Click here for Mackay Regional Council Emergency information page.
Most residents should be seeking alternate accommodation, as the shelter is a last resort for those most vulnerable.
In the Whitsundays, Proserpine Cyclone Shelter, Proserpine State School, Sterry Street, Proserpine, it willnly be open will only by Council for a severe Tropical Cyclone; this is a Category 3, 4 or 5 cyclone. Click here for details about Cyclone Shelters in the Whitsunday Regional Council.