Dire warning as homes exposed for storm season
A THIRD of Mackay and Whitsunday homes have been left exposed to a natural disaster, as North Queenslanders admit to leaving disaster preparations to the last minute.
RACQ spokeswoman Lucinda Ross said too many people left their homes unsecured, and only acted when a severe storm was on their doorstep.
Ms Ross said over the past three years there were 447 claims for storm damage in the Mackay region.
"Shockingly, our data shows people in Mackay are leaving their preparation until it's too late," Ms Ross said.
"You can't begin planning for a storm when it's already bearing down on you, and we know this year could be disastrous."
Ms Ross said storm preparation was about more than tidying up and putting away loose outdoor items.
"Emergency plans require thought and communication with everyone in your household and emergency kits need plenty of careful consideration - they might become lifesaving if disaster strikes," she said.
"If you're packing your kit while lightning is striking and thunder clashing, you're likely to forget something important."
Ms Ross said the disaster panic would leave nearly a quarter of Mackay residents ill-equipped, with research showing 22 per cent of north Queenslanders would never create an emergency kit or plan.
"Just think, if you had to leave home in an emergency, what would you take, where would you go, who would collect the kids, pets and any items you can't live without like prescription medication, food, water and nappies for those with babies?" she said.
"Half an hour of planning today could make all the difference this summer."