With one road in and one road out, many Rainbow Beach locals have often joked about how easy it would be to keep out the undesirable element – just build a drawbridge!
As comical as the idea is, it also illustrates our vulnerability in the opposite scenario: if the road was cut – we similarly may not be able to get back out in times of an emergency.
Indeed, in late 2022, some of you will recall that flash flooding at Carland Creek led to exactly that scenario – cutting off Rainbow Beach Road for several hours. Some eastbound travellers even found themselves beneficiaries of a charitable charter boat operator (who literally ferried them from the Tin Can Bay ‘side’ around to Rainbow Beach. Necessity is the mother of invention, as they say).
Whether it’s flash-flooding, or possibly a bushfire scenario cutting the road – it’s not hard to see that being stranded in Rainbow Beach is indeed a possibility, however slim. Now of course there’s worse places to be stranded, providing there is plenty of accommodation. But if it was peak holiday season, compounded by campers leaving Fraser Island, we might need to start looking for alternative places to accommodate people.
One such scenario that has been considered by the Local Disaster Management Group, involves the opening of a dedicated Evacuation Centre at the Rainbow Beach Hall. Although the hall would only be used as a ‘last resort’, such an undertaking would require volunteer support from the community, to ensure the welfare of those who essentially found themselves ‘homeless’ for a short time.
Scan to register for the upcoming one-day Evacuation Centre Training session
Calling all volunteers
To prepare and plan for such an undertaking (opening the hall as an Evacuation Centre), Gympie Regional Council is offering one day of Evacuation Centre Training on Friday 5 May 2023 to residents of Rainbow Beach, Tin Can Bay, and Cooloola Cove. The training is run by Red Cross, and lunch and training materials will be provided.
Registration must be received by three weeks prior, and numbers are limited. Registrations can be made by scanning the QR code, or emailing your name and contact number to firstname.lastname@example.org
By Mick Emery, Disaster Management Officer, Gympie Regional Council