Hazards - Know your risks


Tropical cyclones are low pressure systems that form over warm tropical waters, generally intensifying over several days, generating severe wind, heavy rain and flooding.  They are powerful weather systems that can cause significant damage to the built and natural environment and can continue for many days, even weeks.  .

The severity of a tropical cyclone is described in terms of categories relating to the strength of the winds ranging from 1 (weakest) to 5 (strongest).


Typical strongest gust

Typical effects


Tropical Cyclone

Less than

125 km/h


Minimal house damage. Damage to some crops, trees, caravans. Boats may drag moorings.


Tropical Cyclone

125-164 km/h

Destructive Winds

Minor house damage. Significant damage to signs, trees and caravans.  Heavy damage to some crops. Risk of power failure. Small boats may break moorings.


Severe Tropical Cyclone

165-224 km/h

Very Destructive Winds

Some roof and structural damage. Some caravans and boats destroyed.  Power failures likely.


Severe Tropical Cyclone

225-279 km/h

Very Destructive Winds

Significant roofing and structural damage. Many caravans and boats destroyed and blown away. Dangerous airborne debris. Widespread power failures.


Severe Tropical Cyclone

More than

280 km/h

Extremely Destructive Winds

Extremely dangerous with widespread destruction.

What are the local risks?

Bundaberg has a risk of being impacted by cyclones during the cyclone season that officially runs from November to April. Tropical cyclones can be erratic, and a cyclone of any size can be dangerous. Even when a tropical cyclone weakens to a tropical low, it can bring dangerous conditions.


The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) issues wharings for Tropical Cyclones:

  • A Tropical Cyclone Advice - a “notice” that advises the location of a cyclone, its movement and intensity, and identifies areas that could be affected.
  • A Cyclone Watch is issued 48 hours before the cyclone is predicted to cross the coast. Updated every six hours, a Cyclone Watch provides information on the location, movement and intensity, and areas that could be affected.
  • Cyclone Warnings are issued if winds are expected to affect coastal or island areas within 24 hours. The warning is updated every three hours and then every hour if the cyclone poses a major threat. The warning includes information on location, movement and intensity of the cyclone, areas that are threatened and anticipated rainfall, flooding and storm surge.

BOM also provides a track map for each cyclone showing forecast movement, intensity, watch or warning zones. Cyclone track map can also be found on Bundaberg's Disaster Dashboard.

How to prepare

What to do During

  • Stay informed. Tune your battery-operated radio into ABC 100.1 FM
  • Listen for warnings and alerts and follow any instructions given.
  • Be aware of your shelter and evacuation options
  • Stay inside and shelter in the strongest part of the building keeping well clear of windows (eg shelter in the internal hallway or bathroom).
  • Turn off and unplug electrical items, external TV/radio aerials and computer modems.
  • If the building starts to break up, shelter under a mattress, doona, or a strong table or bench in the strongest part of the building, eg internal room, hallway or built-in wardrobe.
  • Beware the calm ‘eye’ of the cyclone. If the wind drops, do not assume the cyclone is over. Violent winds will soon resume from another direction. Wait for the official “all clear”.

After an event


  • Pay attention to all warnings.
  • Do not go outside until officially advised it is safe.
  • Do not make unnecessary phone calls.
  • Stay away from damaged power lines, fallen trees, flooded waterways.
  • Check for structural property damage and gas leaks.
  • Do not use electrical appliances if wet.
  • Follow any instructions for treating drinking water and discard any contaminated food.
  • Do not go sightseeing.
  • Check and offer help to neighbours, friends and family.

Disaster Dashboard

For information relating to flooding and road closures please visit the Disaster Dashboard.

Flooding and road conditions

Contact us

Address: 190 Bourbong Street
Bundaberg QLD 4670. Australia.

Telephone: 1300 883 699