As I sit down to write this, I’ve just wrapped up chairing Logan’s first Local Government Disaster Management Group meeting for the year.

It brings together representatives from all the big acronym agencies we all know like TMR, SES, QFES and QPS.

The Department of Communities, Red Cross, Queensland Health, and Energex also took part.

We use these meetings to review previous disasters and, importantly, prepare both Council and our community for the next one.

I’m sure all of us remember the dangerous Derecho storms (the name for a large storm with a number of small cyclones within it) that impacted Logan and other regions on Christmas Day and Boxing Day last year.

The storms caused extensive and widespread damage to homes and properties, bringing down trees and more than 1000 power lines.

With 160km/h winds, the storms were compared to a Category 2 cyclone.

Others described it as a tornado.

A week later on New Year’s Day, our city experienced yet another disaster – this time flash flooding from significant rainfall.

There were 1030 jobs logged in our council system to help clear property around homes.

Council roads and parks were impacted too – with 44 roads flooded and more than 130 parks needing repair – that came with a multi-million-dollar repair bill.

As the youngest city in Queensland, and as part of our preparation for the next event, we will be the first council in the state to engage with high school students so that they have a voice in disaster planning for their school.

Where this has been done in Victoria, students are shown to be more calm, resilient and confident when a disaster impacts their community.

Of course, the real champions over Christmas were the volunteers.

Despite many of them having significant damage to their own homes and properties they came out to help their community when it was needed most.

Not all heroes wear capes – many of you have wield chainsaws, help fill in grant applications, and provide food and showers though!

You made a huge difference to many, and the city thanks you for your service.

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