This Is Our A[euro][approximately]war-Room'; Emergency Groups Co-Ordinate the Disaster Response

Article excerpt

Byline: OWEN JACQUES

WHEN the Sunshine Coast faces a disaster, this is the war-room where dots on a map help decide if or when help is needed.

Once word is given that the region could face a disaster, crews are brought from their usual offices to work together.

A council meeting room on an upper floor of the Eddie De Vere Building became the Sunshine Coast Disaster and Emergency Coordination Centre at lunchtime on Tuesday.

Alan aFoxa Rogers co-ordinates the centre, with infrastructure director Andrew Ryan as his deputy.

During a visit by the Daily on Thursday, hinterland councillor Jenny McKay is being briefed by Mr Ryan, as a media officer shows a policeman how the Twitter updates function.

Mr Rogers watches a weather radar showing storms encircling the Coast but not yet closing in.

Beside him is a changing list of road closures.

At the time, there were fears that this weekend would deliver more punishing storms.

The room is split into three acellsa.

Liaison officers represent each of the emergency service arms.

Each takes phone calls from the police, fire, SES and roving council crews and news is passed on from the government's call centres.

Information is distilled and handed to the intelligence and planning desk where another team sifts through the information and decides what it means for the Coast.

During the week, the council's hydrologist was on hand to decipher storm data to determine which areas could face inundation.

Blocked roads, damaged bridges or towns facing isolation are all on the radar of the intelligence contingent. …