Animal stories : flash flood 2011

Gearing, Amanda Ann (2013) Animal stories : flash flood 2011. In Building Capability in Communities : A National Approach to Animals in Disasters, 24-25 September 2013, Melbourne, VIC. (Unpublished)


Flash flood disasters happen suddenly. The Toowoomba Lockyer Valley flash flood in January 2011 was not forecast by the Bureau of Meteorology until after it had occurred. Domestic and wild animals gave the first warning of the disaster in the days leading up to the event and large animals gave warnings on the morning of the disaster.

Twenty-three people, including 5 children in the disaster zone died. More than 500 people were listed as missing. Some of those who died, perished because they stayed in the disaster zone to look after their animals while other members of their family escaped to safety. Some people who were in danger refused to be rescued because they could not take their pets with them.

During a year spent recording accounts of the survivors of the disaster, animals were often mentioned by survivors. Despite the obvious perils, people risked their lives to save their animals; people saw animals try to save each other; animals rescued people; people rescued animals; animals survived where people died; animals were used to find human victims in the weeks after the disaster; and animals died.

The stories of the flood present challenges for pet owners, farmers, counter disaster planners, weather forecasters and emergency responders in preparing for disasters, responding to them and recovering after them.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 68621
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Refereed: No
Keywords: disasters, animals, rescue, evacuation, disaser planning
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Current > Schools > Journalism, Media & Communication
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 The Author
Deposited On: 17 Mar 2014 01:49
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2014 01:49

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