Feature: When a cyclone hits

When Cyclone Trevor impacted the NT coastline in March 2019, residents in a string of communities likely to be affected had already been advised to secure their homes and provide their animals with enough food and water for five days before evacuating.

The Emergency Management Branch worked closely with other NT Government agencies in the Emergency Operations Centre to deliver a coordinated response.

The department’s Director Infrastructure, Major Projects and Emergency Management, Jessica Arnold, said the success of the response was the result of a collaborative approach.

“We led the animal welfare component of the response, with around 15 staff working with local councils and vets, including one from Animal Management in Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities, and Police and Emergency Services,” Jessica said.

“Cooperation with our key stakeholders began well before the cyclone arrived and we worked closely with industry organisations to advise people of the risks to animals beforehand.”

Thankfully, the impacts of Cyclone Trevor were not wide ranging and, within a day of its passing, the First Response Team was able to provide food and water to animals in all affected communities except one, which had been declared unsafe due to live power lines.

The response also included an aerial survey of the Gulf of Carpentaria to search for injured marine life that may been washed ashore during the storm surge. Fortunately there were no injured animals observed.

The animal welfare response to Cyclone Trevor was a huge achievement and the team’s dedication, skill and knowledge was instrumental in the successful care of a range of creatures, from dogs and pigs to livestock and horses.


Last updated: 23 October 2019

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