We're ready: Ergon assures Queenslanders

Published: 31 Oct 2019 12:26pm

After responding to catastrophic floods, bushfires, severe storms and tropical cyclones in 2018/19, Ergon Energy is more than ready to support Queensland communities wherever disaster strikes.

Manager of Distribution Emergency Planning Geoff McGraw said community safety was always at the heart of Ergon’s emergency response.

“We live in the communities we serve and that helps us understand the needs and priorities when disasters hit.

“We engage with community groups, emergency services, Councils and other local organisations to ensure we have the most up-to-date information to make sound and timely planning decisions,” he said.

Mr McGraw said pre-season planning was one of the keys to success and Ergon had learnt valuable lessons from fifteen escalated emergencies in some unprecedented conditions, including Queensland’s first ever catastrophic fire danger rating and a record monsoon event.

“Each year we conduct detailed summer preparedness activities to ensure we are in the best position to plan and respond to any emergencies nature can throw at us.

“We have improved our technology to capture event forecasting and impacts, which helps us understand each disaster’s potential and allows proactive planning to reduce our response times and improve our power restoration processes,” he said.

In the lead-up to storm season, Ergon steps up its vegetation management program, boosts stocks of essential hardware in strategic locations, carries out inspections of key network assets, tests its emergency framework and ensures its people are ready and available to assist communities in crisis.

“We’re reminding our customers and communities to Get Ready, too, because we saw a few people caught off guard after the state’s first storms of the season.

“Remember that when the electricity network is damaged in a storm, your water supply might also be cut off, so you need to be prepared for power interruptions and restock your emergency kit with the essentials.

“With so many of us relying on mobile phones to stay in touch these days, a portable power bank can come in handy.

“While we do everything to safely and quickly respond and restore power, if the weather conditions or damage to poles and wires is extreme, it takes time so we ask you to be patient and be prepared,” Mr McGraw said.

Ergon is also reminding everyone to take care and stay line aware as the risk of fallen powerlines increases in wild weather.

“Fallen powerlines can be hidden in tree branches and other storm debris, so be extra careful when you’re cleaning up and stay well clear of this life-threatening electrical hazard.

“If you see powerlines down, it’s important to stay well away from them, warn others in the area and call emergency services on Triple Zero.

“The first priority for our crews is to make the area safe after a storm and detailed information from the public can help us identify hazards sooner.

“As we have in the past, we will be there to help whether it is in our larger cities or our remote and isolated communities,” Mr McGraw said.

Media Contact: Emma Oliveri
Phone: 0457 566 079