Queensland’s Emergency Management HQ prepares for summer

ABC News

170915

Some of the most intense decision-making in the state takes place in the northern suburb of Kedron, with preparations underway for the upcoming weather season.

Emergency Management Queensland headquarters is the base for the state’s key emergency workers who are busy organising emergency teams and new technology.

The building plays a key role during floods, fires, cyclones and storm events by offering a meeting point for coordination between key stakeholders. All phases of an emergency, from prevention through to response and recovery, are coordinated from this centre.

Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) south-eastern regional manager Peter Varley said the briefing room, or “war room” was where the Premier, ministers and heads of departments make big decisions.

Social media, digital mapping and forecasts from the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), also housed in the complex, come together during emergency events.

“The technology we use here monitors the information we receive from the ground during an emergency,” Mr Varley told ABC Queensland’s Elly Bradfield.

Within the complex fire, ambulance and EMQ come together under the one roof.

The department employs more than 7,700 full-time and part-time employees and has more than 85,000 volunteers across Queensland.

Mr Varley said one role of the centre, especially during fire season, was to predict where a fire may burn during an event.

“We have a predictive services unit. What they do is monitor all conditions around active fires and make a prediction on where that fire will end up,” he said. In addition, a new unit will offer 3D technology modelling, offering more precise planning, similar to what was seen in the film Minority Report.

Queensland is set to experience higher than normal temperatures during the annual fire season, which traditionally runs from August through to November.

“Higher temperatures, low moisture in fuel and winds behind could really develop a highly active fire season,” Mr Varley said.

“It’s expected we will have a longer season this year, but given the long-term prospects, we could go through till December and January.”

Find tips and hints to prepare for this year’s fire season from the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service.

Read the full article here.