If you are in a life-threatening situation or emergency, please call ‘000’.
For non-urgent conditions, and if you can travel safely, please visit the closest open GP or Pharmacy near you. If you have any non-urgent questions or concerns about medication (storage and supplies) or your health during a natural disaster event, please contact one of your local pharmacists or GPs. Remember; “if it’s flooded, forget it!”.
Find your nearest GP or pharmacist using the National Health Services Directory.
If you can’t travel safely to your nearest health service provider and you are worried about your health, please call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) to get non-urgent medical advice from a registered nurse 24/7.
Flood and cyclone information
The following information is taken from the Queensland Government’s Get Ready Queensland website. Information is correct as of December 2018.
Floods can occur almost anywhere in Queensland and can rise over days, or in minutes in a ‘flash flood’. Don’t enter floodwater – even water 30cm deep could sweep you off your feet and there is a high probability that flood water will be polluted and harmful to your health.
Below is useful information to assist you to get ready for a flood event.
For current information about flooding go to the Queensland Government disasters and alerts web page or the Bureau of Meteorology Queensland weather and warnings web page.
Prepare to stay safe
Plan to deal with flooded roads on your regular journeys
The only way to stay safe is to stay out of floodwater. And the best way to avoid the water is to get yourself a Plan B – whether that’s staying in or finding a safer way to travel. The Queensland Government’s floodwater safety initiative includes a Flooded Roads Map which uses real-time data and user reports to give you a picture of the flood-risk for your journey, helping you plan a safer route from A to B. You can also report flooding incidents and share your route suggestions to help other drivers arrive safely.
This information contains links to useful information about cyclones and how to get ready before they strike.
Cyclones and severe storms
The following websites and fact sheets will help you to be prepared for cyclones and floods:
- Prepare your home
- Prepare an emergency kit
- Prepare for evacuation
- Check your neighbours
- Pet emergency planning
Download the Get Ready fact sheets
- Emergency kit (PDF, 495 KB)
- Evacuation plan (PDF, 384 KB)
- Check your neighbours (PDF, 260 KB)
- Pet emergency plan (PDF, 218 KB)
Federal Government’s information for school aged kids:
Public health information
Environmental conditions after floods and cyclones increase the risk for infectious diseases. Please see below links to Queensland Health resources regarding common health related factors following a flood event.
Townsville Public Health Unit Factsheets
- Health advice – stock losses in the floods and heat
- Food safety after floods and storms
- Mosquito issues after the Townsville floods, February 2019
- How to use MozzieMesh®
- Dealing with mould factsheet
- Returning home after floods and storms
- School playground equipment after floods
- Meliodosis advice
- Looking after your health during a dust storm
Townsville Public Health Unit Posters
Queensland Health Factsheets
- Black flies-a public health risk after a flood
- Restoring flood-affected domestic swimming pools and spa pools
- Ensuring safe drinking water
- Restoring rainwater tanks affected by natural disasters (including bore water-holding tanks)
- Health advice for emergency response workers
- Use and disposal of medicines after a disaster
- Food safety in an emergency
- Controlling mosquito breeding after floods, storms and cyclone
- Mosquito-borne diseases after a storm, flood or cyclone
- Dealing with mould after a storm, flood or cyclone
- Returning to a disaster-affected house or building
- Stay safe and healthy after storms, floods and cyclones
- Use of playgrounds and sporting fields during flood recovery
Bushfire health advice
Fine smoke particles can cause health problems like itchy or burning eyes, throat irritation, a runny nose, and illnesses like bronchitis. They can also aggravate existing lung conditions, like chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma. Symptoms can occur for several days after smoke is inhaled.
- close windows and doors
- use fans or air conditioning on recirculating mode to keep cool
- keep medications close by if suffering a respiratory condition
- be vigilant in taking prescribed medications for existing lung conditions.
If you have a known respiratory condition such as asthma please have your regular medication at hand and see your GP if you do not feel you are adequately prepared.
Residents should call Triple Zero (000) if you are having health problems or believe your property is under threat.
Further information on bushfire health safety can be found at:
General bushfire health information
Queensland Health’s Health Protection Branch has developed the following factsheets in response to the current ongoing bushfire situation in Queensland.
The fact sheets include:
- Masks and smoke from bushfires
- After a fire – cleaning up a smoke affected home
- After a fire – returning home safely
- After a fire – using your personal protective kit
- After Fire – Asbestos Hazards
- Airborne dust and health effects
- Bushfire smoke and your health
- Ash from copper chrome arsenate
- Bushfires and roof-harvested rainwater
- Fire retardants and health
- Power outages – using alternative fuel and electricity generation safely
Northern Queensland PHN would like to acknowledge Queensland Health for sharing these resources.
Mental health support for bushfire affected communities
Bushfires can have a significant impact on the mental health and wellbeing of affected communities and individuals.
The impact may also be felt by people who are not directly affected by bushfire activity, but may have experienced previous trauma related to a natural disaster, have loved ones in affected areas or are witnessing traumatic events through media coverage and social media.
There are a range of services available for people who wish to seek mental health support due to the impact of bushfires.
Visit www.lifeinmindaustralia.com.au/mental-health-support-for-bushfire-affected-communities for more information.
Mental health support resources
It is common to experience a range of intense emotions following a traumatic event like a natural disaster. Some people may have experienced the event physically, and others who may be affected in other ways whether it be concern about family and friends, hearing about people’s experiences during flooding, or extra workloads caused by the adverse weather event.
NQ Connect (1300 059 625)
See your GP if you would like to discuss your mental health, or contact NQ Connect on 1300 059 625 or nqconnect.com.au/floodsupport/
There are also a number of mental health and wellbeing resources available for the public, as outlined below.
Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800)
Kids Helpline has prioritised free counselling support (phone, email, and webchat) for young people contacting from flood affected areas of North Queensland. Download the flyer here. Visit their website at www.kidshelpline.com.au
Beyond Blue (1300 22 46 36)
- Emotional responses after a disaster (brochure)
- Looking after yourself after a disaster
- Looking after yourself and your family after a disaster (Fact sheet and planner/worksheet)
Life Line (13 11 14)
- Coping with loss and change in a community after a natural disaster (PDF 236KB) (toolkit)
- Recovering after a natural disaster
- Getting through floods, drought, and extreme climate events (toolkit)
- Helping your children cope with the after effects of a natural disaster (toolkit)
Central and Western Queensland mental health and counselling providers and programs
Click here to find additional mental health and wellbeing resources and providers for Central and Western Queensland residents.
Townsville Mentally Healthy City Project
Download the flyer here for information on how to take care of yourself, and those you care about, after the Townsville flood.
Other recovery and support resources
- Queensland SES
- 13 QGOV (13 74 68): access and support to Queensland Government services (housing, water, education etc.)
- 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84): a confidential phone service that provides health advice from a registered nurse 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- To view after hours primary healthcare options, visit www.sickafterhours.com.au
CheckUP outreach services
Funded by the Australian Department of Health, CheckUP in partnership with QAIHC leads a strong, effective consortium delivering outreach services to urban, rural and remote locations and high-need populations throughout Queensland.
They aim to increase access to medical specialists, GP, and allied health professional services in urban, regional, rural, and remote locations throughout Queensland, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Visit outreach.checkup.org.au to find outreach services near you.
In case of fallen powerlines
Call Ergon Energy on 13 22 96
For information on volunteering click here.
For insurance information
To stay up-to-date on current situations in your region, please visit your local emergency management dashboard at the links below:
Tune-in to the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC)
- ABC Far North (Cairns region):
- Atherton 720 AM
- Babinda 95.7 FM
- Cairns 801 AM, 106.7 FM
- Cairns North 95.5 FM
- Georgetown 106.1 FM
- Coen 105.9 FM
- Cooktown 105.7 FM
- Croydon 105.9 FM
- Dimbulah 91.7 FM
- Lakeland 106.1 FM
- Laura 106.1 FM
- Mission Beach 89.3 FM
- Mossman 639 AM
- Mount Garnet 95.7 FM
- Mount Molloy 95.7 FM
- Normanton 105.7 FM
- Thursday Island (Torres Strait) 1062 AM
- Tully 95.5 FM
- Weipa 1044 AM
- ABC Far North (Cairns region):
- ABC North Queensland (Townsville region):
- Greenvale 105.9 FM
- Hughenden 1485 AM
- Pentland 106.1 FM
- Townsville 630 AM
- ABC Tropical North (Mackay Region):
- Mackay 101.1 FM
- Moranbah 104.9 FM
- Airlie Beach 89.9 FM
- Dysart 91.7 FM
- ABC North Queensland (Townsville region):
Recovery resources for children
Natural disasters like storms, cyclones, floods, or fire can be very frightening and upsetting for babies and young children. The below resources are available for children and families to assist in the recovery following any type of natural disaster: