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Queensland floods: one year on


Next week marks the one year anniversary of the worst of the floods that hit the Queensland in 2011.

Thursday January 5, 2012

Qld floods
Flooded streets in suburban Brisbane, Janaury 2011. Photo: Bradley Kanaris/Australian Red Cross.

For communities across Queensland, next week marks the one year anniversary of the worst of the floods that hit the state in 2011 and led to one of the largest ever Red Cross relief and recovery programs in Australia.

Red Cross CEO, Robert Tickner, said the anniversary was a time for reflection for the thousands of Queenslanders who were affected by the floods and served to emphasise the fact many communities continue to face significant challenges in rebuilding their lives.

"Our recovery work in communities affected by the floods over the past year confirms many Queenslanders are still doing it tough," said Mr Tickner.

"We are urging people to be aware of the long term psychological and social impact of the disaster. For some, the one year anniversary will be will be a celebration of life and an acknowledgement of how far they have come. For others, it will be a painful reminder of loss and the disruption to their lives."

The work by Red Cross has not ended as the flood waters have disappeared. Over the past 12 months, Red Cross teams have been embedded with a number of communities rebuilding from the floods. Red Cross staff and volunteers have visited around 16,000 people in flood affected areas and participated in community events as part of a long-term recovery program.

"Red Cross has a number resources available to assist people affected by emergencies, including a guide on how to cope with a personal crisis and podcasts about how to deal with the stress of an emergency and how to help out after one has occurred," said Mr Tickner.

"Next week also marks important date for the Red Cross staff and volunteers who were at the front line of the response to the floods and continue to provide support in flood and cyclone affected areas to this day.

"The floods caused huge upheaval for many communities in Queensland. In response to the crisis, Red Cross had more than 1,400 staff and volunteers from across Australia, as well as from New Zealand, working to support affected communities."

In 2011, Red Cross managed evacuation centres in 34 locations affected by the floods, including Brisbane, Dalby, Emerald, Ipswich, Moreton Bay, Rockhampton and Toowoomba, that assisted over 14,000 people. Red Cross also managed 11 emergency shelters, including in Cairns, Innisfail and Tully, that accommodated 6,500 people affected by Cyclone Yasi.

Working with the State and local governments, as well as other organisations on-the-ground, Red Cross's recovery work in Queensland continues. Donations to Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery support important work in this area.

The Red Cross national recovery program has been made possible by funding from ANZ Trustees Charitable Purposes in Victoria, Aussie Farmers Foundation, Community Enterprise Foundation, Collier Charitable Fund, Eldon and Anne Foote Trust of the Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation, and Percy Baxter Charitable Trust, managed by Perpetual.

For more information contact James Molan on 0448 571 484.

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