In most cases, the safest thing to do in a cyclone is to shelter in place – that is to stay at home and ride it out with your household.
If you live in a storm tide inundation area you may be advised to evacuate. Evacuation advice in the Cairns region is based on storm tide surge, not wind, and its severity (red, orange and yellow zones).
You should also consider evacuating if you live in a pre-1982 home or feel concerned for your safety.
If you need to or decide to evacuate the best option is always to go to family, friends or colleagues outside threatened areas. Plan this now and include the information in your emergency plan.
Only residents of storm tide inundation areas will be admitted to Council's storm tide cyclone shelters or places of refuge.
Staying at home
If staying home, decide which room to shelter in. The best option is an internal room with few or small windows, such as the bathroom. Use mattresses and other bedding to protect yourself and make sure your household emergency kit is in the room for the duration of the event. (More information on preparing your property for a cyclone.)
Storm tide evacuation
Evacuation advice is based on the level of potential inundation from storm tide. This falls into three zones (see below). Do not wait – go when advised.
Evacuation advice will be made on:
- Council's website
- Cairns Disaster Coordination Centre social media, Twitter @CairnsDCC or Facebook facebook.com/CairnsDCC
- Cairns Regional Council social media, Twitter @CouncilCairns, Facebook facebook.com/CairnsRegionalCouncil
- Neighbourhood contact from emergency services.
There are three evacuation zones which are determined based on modelling and previous experience of the level of inundation above the "average height datum" or AHD. For these purposes you can consider AHD to be sea level.
These properties face a moderate risk of coastal flooding from a storm tide. Flooding may be experienced in areas between 3m and 4.5m above AHD.
These properties face a high risk of coastal flooding from a storm tide. Flooding may be experienced in areas between 2m and 3m above AHD.
|These properties face the highest risk of coastal flooding from a storm tide. Flooding may be experienced in areas up to 2m above AHD.|
Am I in a storm tide area?
There are three key ways to find out if you are in a storm tide surge zone.
Check the inside of your meter/power box cover for a storm surge sticker in red, orange or yellow.
Use the Storm Tide Property Search tool on Council's website.
Free map books are available from your nearest Council customer service centre.