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Date posted: 15 March 2013
The western Cape York community of Napranum says it was much better prepared for a severe weather threat earlier this week because of its recent experience during Cyclone Oswald.
The acting chief executive officer of the Napranum Aboriginal Shire Council, Peter Chapman, says the community activated its disaster management plan on Monday.
He says, while there was no impact on the community, it was a good disaster exercise.
'We learnt a lot from the tropical Cyclone Oswald and put in place our planning,' he said.
'That night we kept relevant managers' mobile phones on alert.
'[In our] previous experience with Oswald we seemed to be running around in all sorts of different directions but that was good because it was like a big learning exercise.
'This time people were very much aware of their specific tasks.'
He says staff were much more organised with designated roles and equipment ready to be mobilised than during Cyclone Oswald in January.
'We did learn from Oswald that the rain and so forth before the potential cyclone and afterwards was much more severe than the supposed cyclone,' he said.
'So this time, seeing a severe weather warning, we had learnt from that previous experience that we were more likely to get very heavy rain and potentially high wind almost immediately, so that's what we prepared for.'
For more information about preparing for cyclones and other disasters in Indigenous communities, see the emergency management section of the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet's resource for Environmental Health Practitioners.