Australia

‘We’re not here to clean gutters’: Vital storm message

State Emergency Service members have urged Coast residents not to become complacent with their home maintenance as a "full on" storm season approaches.

Several volunteers participated in a North Coast Region State Emergency Service flood boat training exercise on Sunday.

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Deputy local controller Bradley John said the exercises were crucial ahead of storm and cyclone season to ensure the region was in safe hands should disaster strike.

"There's multiple challenges that we have to keep doing, so we keep up with our skills," he said.

"We've been promised some full on weather, so I guess it's time to get ready for that and be prepared."

SES member Justice Maslen during Sunday’s training. Photo: Eden Boyd

SES member Justice Maslen during Sunday’s training. Photo: Eden Boyd

Acting group leader at Maroochydore, Graeme Dean, who has been part of the service for more than 30 years, said he never stopped building on his expertise.

"It is important because if you don't keep up with your skills, you do lose the ability to, in this case, operate a boat, or if you're working at heights, they're both dangerous competencies that you have to be on top of," he said.

"We're here to help the community out and do what we can in times of need."

Securing any loose items and clearing out roof gutters were a couple ways Mr John said residents could brace for storm season.

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"Preparedness is better than us turning up and having to deal with the actual issue at the time," he said.

"We're not there to keep cleaning gutters for people, when people have the time to prevent that type of stuff from happening.

"Damage happens when people allow complacency to come in, then you get gutters filling up and flooding happening."

Mr John said the service was "always willing" to teach new members skills should they wish to join.

"We're always looking for people to recruit, they're very welcome to contact us and see where their closest SES shed is," he said.

"Every little bit of help is a lot of help for us."

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