The Road Ahead : December 2013
DEC 2013/JAN 2014 THE ROAD AHEAD QUEENSLAND'S LARGEST CLUB 61 FEATURE | MEMBER ESSENTIALS get ready queensland IF YOU DO A LITTLE, WE ALL ACCOMPLISH A LOT. STORY DEB ECCLESTON IMAGES: RACQ COMMUNITY RESPONSE TEAM IN ACTION. LATE 2010, THE Mother Nature Queenslander's thought they knew so well -- the one responsible for the sunshine and summer rains -- turned nasty. Even those accustomed to the threat of tropical cyclones were caught off-guard by the ferocity of the weather system. And some have been paying the price ever since. The following year, what was hoped was a 'once-off' weather event threatened again, leaving many to wonder if these summer events were the new 'normal' and inspiring the State Government to this year implement the Get Ready Campaign. The aim of the campaign is to encourage Queenslanders to be prepared for whatever weather events may occur and, hopefully, minimise their impact. According to the Queensland Government Department of Community Safety, the cost of disasters to the Australian economy in 2012 was more than $6 billion. By not actively preparing for environmental disasters, this could potentially rise to $12 billion by 2030 and more than double that again by 2050. RACQ is actively supporting the Get Ready Campaign by providing members with information about how they can prepare for storms, cyclones and bushfires. "By reducing your risks and preparing for the worst, you'll be in a far better position to deal with, and recover from, a life-threatening disaster," RACQ executive manager Technical and Safety Policy Steve Spalding said. For more information about how you can prepare for an environmental disaster, visit qld.gov.au/getready. RACQ IS THERE WHEN DISASTER STRIKES Following the 2011 floods, RACQ established the RACQ Foundation to help fund community groups to get back on their feet. To date, the RACQ Foundation has distributed almost $7 million to more than 100 community organisations across Queensland, providing everything from replacement footballs to new clubhouses and sporting fields. RACQ conducts up to one million roadside rescues a year and has more than 750 vehicles in its fleet across the state. These vehicles played a vital role during disasters in helping get member cars moving again, clearing damaged cars from drains and ditches and even towing vehicles from an airport car park before it was flooded. During the 2011 disasters, RACQ staff also took to the streets to help emergency services. These dedicated staff formed the backbone of RACQ's newly formalised Community Response Team (CRT). The CRT is made up of trained volunteers who can utilise the many assets RACQ has available to help in a disaster. The RACQ was the first non-government organisation in Queensland to be certified by the State Government to be able to enter disaster areas to assist. Importantly the RACQ has vehicles such as its Mobile Member Centre which can provide vital communication links in storm and cyclone ravaged areas through its onboard computers and satellite links, helping residents get in touch with loved ones and quickly access insurance and banking details if needed. There is no doubt the RACQ is ready for another summer season in Queensland and we are urging our members to also get on board, and Get Ready to help themselves during any future severe weather events.
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