Thousands of new residents and tourists in north Queensland could be severely unprepared for the looming storm season, according to Suncorp.
“Unfortunately, our state doesn’t always live up to the ‘beautiful one day, perfect the next’ tagline, and new Queensland migrants and tourists may be unsure what to do to prepare for storm and cyclone season,” said Josh Cooney, Suncorp Insurance spokesperson. “While personal safety should always be their number-one concern, preparing their home and property adequately is also vitally important.”
In the 12 months to March this year, 24,000 people moved to Queensland from interstate, while net overseas migration in 2016-17 increased to 35,199, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed.
“That’s a significant number of people who may soon experience their first Queensland weather event and also a timely reminder to those born and bred here to dust off their storm and cyclone preparation plans,” Cooney said.
Suncorp noted that complacency continues to be a significant issue in the state.
New research from Suncorp and James Cook University found that 90% of respondents believed damage from a Category 1-2 cyclone was very low to somewhat low, while a further 45% believed damage from a Category 3-4 cyclone is also very low to somewhat low.
“Although TC Marcia crossed the coast as a category-5 system near Shoalwater Bay, the wind speeds in Yeppoon were category 2-3, and in Rockhampton category 1-2, with severe wind-related damages in several areas,” Cooney said. “These findings demonstrate the level of complacency in some of our communities, with many still believing that ‘it won’t happen to me’. Our data shows nine out of 10 cyclone-related claims can be avoided with proper preparation and this is key to ensuring families and communities stay safe this storm season.”