Please note! This is an archived version of the previous North Burnett Regional Council website at July 2017. Some information is outdated and some functionality may not work correctly. Please visit the new North Burnett Regional Council website for the latest information.
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Severe Storms




In the North Burnett it is not uncommon to experience severe weather such as thunderstorms, hail storms, dry electrical storms and wind storms.

While we are not affected by coastal problems such as tidal surges or tsunamis, we can feel the effects of cyclones and the extensive rain depressions left in their aftermath. For example, in 2013 ex-tropical Cyclone Oswald brought widespread heavy rainfall to our region,  in just a few weeks, causing severe flooding and damage.


Severe Storms or Thunderstorms can produce hail, wind gusts, flash floods, tornadoes and lightning which can cause death, injury and damage to property. You can be left without power or cut off by flooded roads.

Severe weather is a natural part of living in North Burnett. Every year, the North Burnett experiences severe storms and it's important to take the time to prepare your family, pets and property.


Before the storm season begins follow the guide below to prepare yourself and your family.

Prepare your home

  • Check and clean your roof, gutters and downpipes.  If any roof tiles or sheets are loose have them repaired.
  • Trim trees and remove branches that overhang buildings, but call a professional tree trimmer if they are near powerlines.
  • Identify loose objects in your yard such as outdoor furniture and toys that will have to be put away or secured if a storm approaches.
  • Protect sky lights with wire mesh and fit glass windows and doors with shutters or insect screens.
  • Have a supply of plastic shopping bags or sandbags to fill with sand for emergency storm water diversion.  Sand for sandbagging can be obtained by contacting Council on 1300 696 272 or SES on 132 500. For tips on how to sandbag and prepare visit
  • Include some basic materials in your Emergency Kit (Fact Sheet 3) that can assist with emergency repairs such as masking tape and plastic sheeting or large garbage bags, rope, timber strips, hammers and nails.
  • Make sure your insurance is up-to-date and enough to cover your home and contents.  It's a good idea to take photographs of your home and possessions.  Keep copies of any insurance documentation away from the home as well, maybe at work or with a family member or friend.
  • Install a surge protector in your home to protect sensitive electronic equipment.

Prepare yourself and your family

  • Be aware of severe storm patterns in your area, for example, which direction do the storms typically come from, where does storm water flow, where the rivers and creeks are, what are your potential evacuation routes and where they may get cut.
  • Be aware of the media outlets you can obtain weather warnings from and if you have a smartphone install a few useful weather and emergency apps.  See Fact Sheet 5 for more information.
  • Prepare an Emergency Kit (Fact Sheet 3)
  • Identify the safest place in your home to shelter should a severe storm turn nasty. Typically the bathroom or laundry, or somewhere central in the house away from windows in case they shatter, or under the house.
  • Make sure your Emergency Plan is up to date (Fact Sheet 1) and that everyone in your household understands what will happen in an emergency situation.  Don't forget your neighbours who may need assistance (Fact Sheet 6).



  • Have your mobile phone fully charged. Don't use a fixed telephone during a severe storm due to lightning danger.
  • Secure loose garden furniture, toys etc inside or under cover.
  • Turn off and unplug electrical items, external TV/radio aerials and computer modems.
  • Make sure vehicles have a full tank of fuel and park under solid shelter or cover with firmly tied tarpaulins/blankets.
  • Secure all external doors and windows and draw curtains.
  • Shelter and secure animals.
  • Keep valuables and your emergency kit handy.
  • Fill containers with water in case water supplies are cut.
  • Listen to your (portable) radio for severe storm advice and warnings.
  • Stay inside and shelter well clear of windows, doors and skylights.
  • If driving, stop clear of trees, powerlines and creeks.  Never drive on flooded roads, even in a small amount of water the current can pick up your car and sweep you way.  Remember 'If Its Flooded Forget It!'.
  • If outdoors, seek solid enclosed shelter.
  • If the building starts to break up, shelter in the strongest part (eg, internal room, hallway or built-in wardrobe) under a mattress, doona or a strong table or bench.


  • Listen to your local radio for official warnings and advice;
  • If you need emergency assistance, phone Triple Zero '000' - for life threatening emergencies;
  • Be cautious around fallen branches, debris and water as there could be hidden fallen power lines.  Always assume they are 'live' and dangerous.  Report them immediately to Triple Zero '000';
  • If you experience tingles or shocks from electrical appliances or water taps, call Ergon immediately on 131670, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  And call your licensed electrician to check your electrical wiring immediately.
  • Beware of damaged buildings, trees and flooded watercourses;
  • Check for structural property damage and cover with plastic sheeting and nailed on wood strips.  If you are unable to make repairs or sandbags yourself and require assistance contact the SES on 132 500. Refer to your emergency phone numbers for further assistance;
  • Be available to help neighbours if required;
  • Don't go sight-seeing.