Sunshine Coast Council hosted a simulated disaster today to test and refine emergency responses ahead of the fire and storm season.
Exercise IGNIS was inspired by a real-life scenario and involved a simulated wild fire which led to the evacuation of a community, including a high-care aged care facility on the Sunshine Coast.
Sunshine Coast Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) Deputy Chair Councillor Tim Dwyer said Exercise IGNIS saw the LDMG come together and establish the Local Disaster Coordination Centre (LDCC), just like they would in a real disaster.
“This essential exercise is an opportunity for all areas of our disaster management teams to assess and improve their responses and skills for when disaster strikes,” Cr Dwyer said.
“In November last year the Sunshine Coast experienced severe weather which resulted in a significant grass fire in Meridan Plains.
“This caused the near evacuation of an aged care facility from which we took away many key learnings.
“This included organising a specific forum to help aged care providers prepare for disaster and the real situation inspired today’s exercise.
“We take the exercise just as seriously as we would an actual disaster and the skills learned are vital in helping ensure we are prepared for when the worst happens.”
Sunshine Coast Local Disaster Co-ordinator Tom Jamieson said the training exercise and upcoming Get Ready campaign (October 13-19) were timely reminders for residents to be prepared for disaster events, whether they were man-made or natural disasters.
“It’s important for householders and businesses to prepare in advance of the fire and summer storm season, to have an emergency plan in place, organise an emergency kit, prepare an evacuation plan and make sure they are able to tune into warnings and emergency advice,” Mr Jamieson said.
Residents can visit council’s Disaster Hub for all the information they need to prepare their homes and businesses, and stay up to date with important information such as road closures, evacuation centres and weather warnings.
The Sunshine Coast Local Disaster Management Group membership includes Mayor Mark Jamieson as the chairperson, and representatives from the Sunshine Coast Council, all local emergency services, key non-government departments, local education institutes, energy and water service providers and tourism organisations.