A major flood emergency has been announced as torrential rain hits southeast Queensland and northern New South Wales.

As many of us watch the heartbreaking footage on the news of homes and businesses being detroyed, families being evacuated and lives being lost, we hope for everyone to stay safe.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced almost 1000 schools across southeast Queensland will be closed today due to the dangerous flooding. She says the weather hitting the state’s south east is “like an unpredictable cyclone”.

People have also been urged to work from home if possible, with the emergency situation expected to continue for the next three days.

“We never expected this rain. This rain bomb is just really, you know, it’s unrelenting,” she said.

“It’s just coming down in buckets, it’s not like a waterfall. It’s like waves of water just coming down.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the federal government had activated disaster recovery payments of $1000 per eligible adult and $400 per eligible child to support those impacted.
The payments will be available for people in the local government areas of Gympie and North Burnett from Monday, but are expected to be made more widely available as other areas are declared disaster zones.

Almost 1000 schools are closed on Monday, 28 February, due to flooding in southeastern Queensland.

NSW SES (State Emergency Services) has the following advice for children and how they can be a ‘FloodSafe Kid’.

According to their website, being a FloodSafe Kid means “pledging to look out for yourself, your family and your friends before, during and after floods”.

This includes:

  • Helping my family, friends and neighbours plan for flooding
  • Helping put together an emergency kit for my home and school and updating the batteries every year
  • Following all instructions given to me by my parents, the NSW SES and other emergency services during a flood
  • Never playing in floodwater
  • Helping my friends become FloodSafe Kids too

SES NSW advises childen to never be allowed to play in floodwater.

The advice online also suggests children get involved in putting together an emergency kit, containing:

  • Portable radio with spare batteries
  • Torch with spare batteries
  • First aid kit (with supplies necessary for your household)
  • Candles and waterproof matches
  • Important papers including emergency contact numbers
  • Copy of any Home Emergency Plans
  • Waterproof bag for valuables

When leaving or evacuating your property, place in your emergency kit:

  • A good supply of required medications
  • Any special requirements and supplies for babies, the disabled, infirm and/or elderly
  • Appropriate clothing and footwear
  • Fresh food and drinking water

Keep your emergency kit in a waterproof storage container.

On a regular basis, check your emergency kit (remember to check use-by dates on batteries and gloves) and restock items if you need to.

Also, keep a list of emergency numbers near your phone or on your fridge.