Natural disasters

During an emergency this page is replaced with the Cairns Disaster Dashboard.

The dashboard collates real-time information from Council, emergency services and utilities such as Ergon and Telstra, we well as showing evacuation routes, any shelters that are opened, storm surge maps and links to information to help you be prepared for a disaster.

You can use the Cairns Disaster Dashboard year round to see traffic and flood cams, be aware of hazards such as fires and road closures.

Residents can also register for Cairns Alert to receive important information via email or text message.

The Cairns region is a beautiful, tropical area that is vulnerable to natural disasters. We are cyclone and flood prone. We're neighbours to an old volcanic landscape in the Tablelands. We live very close to the sea and extensive areas of bush. There is one main road in and out.

So it's important to be ready should a disaster occurs

This means:

  • Knowing the risks
  • Preparing your property before the cyclone season
  • Having an emergency plan for yourself, your family and your pets
  • Having an emergency kit with at least 3 days of supplies
  • Knowing your evacuation routes

We encourage residents and visitors to follow the Plan. Pack. Listen approach.

Plan: Make an emergency plan

Pack: Pack an emergency kit

Listen: Stay informed

Cairns Alert

Register for disaster and emergency alerts via email or text message (SMS) More

Cairns Disaster Dashboard

The Cairns Disaster Dashboard collates crucial information from Council, emergency services, utilities such as Ergon and Telstra, road status updates, and traffic and flood cams to provide a single point of reference during a disaster. More


Living in the tropics means being prepared for cyclones, floods and other emergencies. It's important to have a plan for everyone in your household. More

Storm surge

Evacuation advice during cyclones in the Cairns region is based on storm surge, not wind. Here are some ways to determine if you are in an storm surge evacuation area. More


Flooding in Cairns can happen without there being a cyclone. Heavy rain or severe storms can cause flooding at any time of the year. More


Information and advice on what to do in the event of an earthquake. More

Wild fire

Wildfires do happen in the Far North. Be prepared with information and tips on what to do if a wildfire approaches. More


Unlike popular belief, tsunamis can impact the Far North. More


Information and advice on what to do in a landslip. More


A cyclone, food or other disaster will hopefully never affect you. But it's best to be prepared so you know what to do if an emergency happens. More


If an emergency occurs, you need to beĀ self-sufficient for at least three days. This list will help you prepare your household emergency kit. More


Listen to your radio, follow developments on social media and check this website for information before, during and after an emergency More


Keep yourself up to date before, during and after an emergency through radio, tv, social media and web services. More


Some handy tools to help you understand natural disasters and prepare your household and property. More

Accessible information

Preparing for Cyclone guides have been prepared in different formats and languages to ensure everyone in the Cairns area can be prepared for an emergency. More

Living With Water

The Living With Water project collects stories of flooding of the Barron River as a way of learning from experience so we can be better prepared for future flooding. More

Be ready, Cairns

The "Be Ready, Cairns - preparing for natural disasters" booklet provides information on the types of emergency situations that can affect Cairns and tips on how to be prepared. More

Copperlode Emergency Action Plan

As the Copperlode Falls Dam owner, Council is required under Queensland law to have an Emergency Action Plan (EAP). More

Disaster Coordination Centre (when the Centre is activated)

Telephone 4044 3377

Disaster Management Unit

PO Box 359
Cairns QLD 4870 Australia
Ph 1300 69 22 47 (1300 MYCAIRNS)

Last updated: 21 November 2019