Cyclone season looms
EXPERTS are predicting cyclone numbers are likely to be below below average with the official storm season starting tomorrow.
With an average of 10-13 cyclones occurring in Australian waters each year - and about four crossing the coast - the Bureau of Meteorology has forecast conditions of less ferocity than recent storm seasons.
This will come as welcome news to the region with memories of Cyclone Debbie still burning as the second anniversary of the disaster approaches.
The damage inflicted by Debbie in March 2017 has led to a number of procedural changes in the region, following a review which contained 84 recommendations.
The Mackay Local Disaster Management Group's Emergency Coordinator, Andrew Neil, said each recommendation had been acted upon, with the implementation of new technology set to improve emergency response.
This includes interactive screens at the local disaster coordination centre to enable greater monitoring of impending situations.
"We do have access to quite a number of new technologies out there, so we now have much greater situational analysis capability," Mr Neil said.
While the Bureau of Meteorology's seasonal outlook of the Coral Sea suggests that the 2018-19 season has a 40 per cent chance of more tropical cyclones than average, they do suggest that outlooks on the Eastern Region have a history of low accuracy.
Despite this, Mr Neil is urging the community to remain vigilant.
"We live in an area where disasters will happen, so it's just being prepared and knowing the risks and having emergency check lists and plans in place."
With Cyclone Saturday taking place on November 10, Mr Neil has encouraged the community become familiar with the information on offer before the season launches.