North Queenslanders are being reminded to follow the advice of authorities and stay informed as rain and strong winds begin to impact some areas. 

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Commissioner Katarina Carroll said residents should ensure their homes and families were ready.

“Hopefully everyone has taken some time over the Easter long weekend to prepare their family and home for the heavy rain and strong winds,” Commissioner Carroll said.

“Dedicating just a few hours to getting ready can make a real difference when severe weather hits.

“Emergency kits should be stocked with essential supplies including food, water, warm clothes, medications, first aid supplies, important documents, valuables, a battery-powered or wind-up radio and sleeping gear.

“By now, everyone should have taken the time to clean up their yard, bringing small items inside and tying down any large items such as swing sets and trampolines.”

Commissioner Carroll said very heavy rainfall and gale force winds were already affecting some areas, and there was the potential for flash flooding. 

“Lots of people are holidaying along creeks, rivers and beaches throughout the flood watch areas at the moment, and these people should be aware of the potential for flash flooding,” Commissioner Carroll said.

“Whether you’re a north Queensland local or you’re on holidays in the area, you should have a plan in place in case you need to evacuate quickly.

“Nobody should ever consider entering flooded creeks or causeways by road or on foot.

“Think about the consequences of your actions and don’t risk your life or the lives of your rescuers.

“If you need to evacuate, take the advice of emergency services personnel or enact your emergency plan and travel to your predetermined safer location.” 

Ms Carroll said QFES had deployed swiftwater rescue teams to at-risk areas with additional resourcing available if required.

“Swiftwater rescue crews have been deployed to Proserpine, Mackay, Townsville, Innisfail, Charters Towers, Bowen and Burdekin, with SES also ready to deploy.

“Catchments in the far north are already full and we have QFES resources ready to respond to the community.”

For storm and flood assistance contact the State Emergency Service (SES) on 132 500 and in a life threatening emergency call Triple Zero (000). 

For further information on how to prepare your home visit www.disaster.qld.gov.au and to keep updated on warnings monitor the BoM website at www.bom.gov.au.