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'I learnt the hard way that you never know how you're going to react in an emergency.'

Ahhh Queensland – beautiful one day, perfect the next. At least that’s how the slogan goes, right?

To some extent it’s certainly very true, and for the last two years of my life I was lucky enough to enjoy what seemed like an eternal summer (and constant humidity) living in Brisbane. If I’m honest it did get a bit old after a while – I missed my winter fashion and began to dread the constant sweating.

With the sunshine and never-ending blue skies comes the wild weather that Queensland has become famous for. Hail, driving rain, flooding, drought … you name it, Queensland has it.

I never really cared too much about wild weather until I got married and became a mum. When you’re single and childless, to some extent you think you’re bulletproof. However, when our baby arrived suddenly the world was a big scary place and protecting him became my number one priority.

We lived in awe of the Queensland weather, getting to the beach even in the middle of winter and enjoying a lot of park time. But when the weather turned bad, boy did it get nasty.

"I never really cared too much about wild weather until I got married and became a mum." Image via iStock.

I’ll never forget one particular afternoon when a severe thunder and hailstorm hit Brisbane along with severe flooding. Large hail was coming in horizontally through the balcony screen door of our top floor apartment (which had very high floor-to-ceiling glass – not very hail storm appropriate).

My husband was stuck at work in the city, so when the driving rain and hail came into the apartment making horrific noises and scaring me witless, I was all alone with our newborn baby.

We hid in the kitchen under a bench – which, in hindsight, probably wasn’t the best move considering all the glass and metal in there. I felt quite lost and helpless, and found myself imagining all sorts of worst-case scenarios.

In the end, the wild weather only lasted a few hours and my husband arrived home safe to help clean up the damage. Our wee man and I were scared – but fine.

On reflection, I can’t believe how unprepared we were. I didn’t know how to get down to ground level without using the lift, which was out of action. With no family or friends close by, we were literally stuck in a ‘glasshouse’ right in the path of the lightning and hail. What we should have had in place was an emergency plan.

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"On reflection, I can’t believe how unprepared we were." Image via iStock.

As parents, we've all had times where we have had a close call or near miss resulting in an ‘I didn’t think that would happen’ moment. A tree branch falling in the front yard as the kids play, a tea towel set alight in the kitchen, accidentally leaving the iron on at home while at work. Sound familiar?

When it comes to extreme weather events in Queensland, it’s not so much a matter of ‘if’ it happens but ‘when’, so it’s vital that we’re all prepared for disasters and emergencies as much as possible.

To help Queensland become the most resilient state in Australia, it’s your turn to get ready and be prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws at us. Step one is to make a cup of tea – all of this preparation won’t seem so daunting after a good cuppa. And step two is to make sure you have an emergency plan in place for your family, and prepare your home to be storm and flood ready – now.

One of the greatest resources I found while living up north was the RACQ Get Ready Queensland website. It’s chock-full of information and tips and is perfect for getting your rear into gear – for lack of a better phrase. While you’re there you can download a handy fact sheet to help you get ready and prepare for when disaster strikes. Easy-peasy.

After all, the more prepared we all are, the faster we’ll bounce back afterwards.

Have you encountered inclement weather? Were you prepared?

Here are some weather events to keep in mind when preparing for future emergencies:

When it comes to extreme weather events in Queensland, it’s not so much a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’. The more prepared we all are, the faster we’ll bounce back afterwards. That’s why we’re asking for your help to Get Ready Queensland.