Check out the new M'boro flood maps on council website

OPINION: After three floods in three years, most recently the damage caused by ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald, the council has adopted a new Disaster Management Plan for the Fraser Coast.

The plan incorporates information gathered during those events, as well as reflecting changes in State and Federal Government departments and local emergency services.

We have also updated our corporate webpage to include fact sheets detailing handy hints and tips to prepare for natural disasters including bushfires and storm surges.

But perhaps most importantly, new flood maps are now available outlining areas of potential inundation.

The maps are available in increments of 500mm from a predicted 5m flood to a 14m flood.

If you have been affected in the past, or suspect that you may live in a flood prone area, it's important that you become familiar with the maps and aware of how different flood heights could affect your property during times of disaster.

Preparation is the key.

Our IT staff have reworked the maps so they will download quickly during an event to allow residents to relate the flood warning information distributed by Council and the Bureau of Meteorology to their homes.

However, as we've learnt from the past, being well prepared for a natural disaster could be the difference between a close call and a catastrophe.

All residents and business owners should have their own evacuation plans and kits ready, especially during storm season.

Council cannot order an evacuation - that responsibility falls to the Queensland Police Service.

We can only recommend people self-evacuate and they need to ensure they are prepared to do so.

This includes developing an emergency plan and an evacuation kit.

And don't forget about your pets, especially if you have to evacuate your home.

Evacuation centres often won't be able to cater for pets so you need to ensure they have food and clean water, especially if you have to leave them at home.

All this information, including helpful hints and tips, is readily available on the Disaster Queensland website and I urge all Fraser Coast residents, including the media to log on and be prepared.

Residents can also follow emergency updates and information on the council's Facebook page 

Mal Churchill is the Fraser Coast Regional Council disaster management co-ordinator.

A map showing the inundation during a 10m flood in Maryborough.
A map showing the inundation during a 10m flood in Maryborough. Fraser Coast Regional Council