Time to prepare for storms, and prepare to help
AS the summer heat begins to scorch much of the state, the summer storms cannot be far away.
In preparation for the potentially destructive cyclone season, Queensland Fire and Emergency Service with charity GIVIT have teamed up not only to encourage people to prepare themselves, but to be prepared to help others.
GIVIT works with the Queensland Government and others to connect those in need of something specific -- like a washing machine, toaster or even curtains -- with those wanting to give.
When disasters strike, GIVIT swings into action so those wanting to help know exactly what they can do.
GIVIT chief Juliette Wright said it meant the group could work with frontline services and those affected "to identify their exact needs and list them online".
"That's why we are urging the local community to prepare for recovery by heading to GIVIT's website now," Mrs Wright said.
The site tells visitors what's needed, the circumstance of the person asking, and where they are. The requests come from across the state, and across the country.
Wardrobe or drawers: Single dad and his two young children are reestablishing since securing safe accommodation
Chest of drawers/cupboards:Young single mother with young baby who requires essential items to start a new life"
Fridge/freezer: Disadvantaged young mum with little baby, currently keeping food cold in an esky due to no other option".
Board games: Children and their mum who have escaped domestic violence with very few possessions
Pots and pans: Young mother and children left with nothing after fleeing domestic violence
Gyprock (30 sheets): Disability pensioner dealing with property damage remaining from the 2011 Brisbane floods
Ladies bike helmet: Lady with persistent mental health issues who is working hard on her recovery and would love to become more independent
SES Regional Manager Merrick Ilett said it was important for North Coast residents to prepare for disasters.
"To get ready for storm and cyclone season, we're asking residents to prepare an emergency plan and emergency kit," Mr Ilett said.
"An emergency kit should be able to sustain you and your family for at least three days if essential services are disrupted or you have been isolated by flood water.
"Involve everyone in your household when preparing and practising your emergency plan. It's vital everyone in your family knows what to do during a severe weather event.
"By taking these simple steps you can help the SES by first helping yourself."
Mr Illett said GIVIT's work means emergency services can focus on those requiring more help.
During the 2011 floods, GIVIT estimates that 1.8 million people viewed its site in a 10-day period, which led to 33,500 goods being supplied to those who needed them.