How to Help Cyclone Yasi Victims

February 2nd, 2011

As Cyclone Yasi, hurtles towards the North Queensland coast, local residents from Townsville to Cairns are evacuating and scrambling for cover.

Cyclone Yasi – upgraded to cat 5, and likely to be more life-threatening than any storm seen in Australia in living memory – is steadily approaching the Queensland coast, and seems certain to dramatically impact on the lives of tens of thousands residents and businesses from communities such as Cairns, Innisfail, Ayr, Mission Beach, Port Douglas and may other areas in far north Queensland

Possibly even more damaging than flooding rains and destructive winds is the tsunami like storm surge that is expected to be at least 2.5 metres and could be a great deal more.

Thousands of local residents have already been evacuated, and latest estimates are predicting that over 30,000 households are likely to be directly affected.

How to get Help

Mandatory evacuation is in place in certain areas, and evacuation centres have been setup in many at risk communities. Listen to your local radio station for the latest news on evacuation centres. There is also an evacuation and information hotline 1300 993 191.

  • If you are evacuating, you should also register as evacuee with the Australian Red Cross National Registration and Enquiry System – a service that is launched during emergency situations to help people reconnect with family and friends.
  • For a life-threatening emergency, phone 000 straight away.
  • For assistance regarding damage to your home, phone SES on 132 500 and they will come to your home once it is safe to do so.

If you have a specific need for temporary accommodation, pet minding, transportation or some other form of assistance you can create a “Help Wanted” listing (for Free) on HelpOut, and someone living in or near your ,local community may be able to help you.

How to Offer Help

Due to the size and unprecedented scale of Cyclone Yasi, it’s very difficult to predict which areas are going to be affected and how hard they will be hit.  However, coastal and low lying areas of North QLD, which are known to be flood prone are almost certainly going to be flood and/or storm surge affected.  Residents within the Local community who live on higher ground, or in more sheltered areas are already offering assistance to friends and family, but are also being urged to help anyone they can.

If you are able to offer temporary accommodation, look after someone’s pet, or offer any other type of support to cyclone victims, you can create a HelpOut listing (for free) detailing what assistance you are able to provide, and where it is available.

Once the cyclone has passed and the scale of devastation becomes better known, there is likely to be a Cyclone Yasi Support Appeal established so that people Australia wide can offer donations and financial support, but in the interim,  members of local communities impacted by Cyclone Yasi can provide direct support – buy offering help, or asking for help via HelpOut.

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