The Port Douglas Storm Tide Cyclone Shelter is a purpose-built public cyclone shelter designed and constructed for the protection of vulnerable people during the lead up to and passage of a severe tropical cyclone.

The primary purpose of storm surge shelters is to provide protection to vulnerable sections of the community who have had to evacuate, could not move away from the severe tropical cyclone impact area and have no other accommodation options.

The building is constructed to the requirements of the Design Guidelines for Queensland Public Cyclone Shelters: is located outside the storm-tide evacuation zone, constructed to provide protection from cyclonic winds and windborne debris, with basic services including amenities and emergency power. The pre-determined maximum occupancy is based upon the available space, amenities and ventilation.

Storm Surge shelters are not intended to provide for people who should stay in their place of residence if that residence is not in the evacuation zones or vulnerable to high winds or storm surge.

Local Disaster Management Groups (LDMGs) may encourage people to move from the evacuation zone in accordance with their evacuation plans, to safer areas away from the hazard or to friends and relatives in safer local areas.

The Storm Surge shelter has space for a pre-determined number of people and priority will be given to those who reside in a storm surge zone, are told to evacuate and have nowhere else to go.

An evacuation order for a cyclone is only issued if lives may be at risk from a storm tide surge. Residents are not evacuated based on wind threat. If your house is built after 1982, is well maintained and not in a storm surge zone you will be more comfortable sheltering in place.

The Storm Surge Shelter has limited capacity and will be used to accommodate as many people as possible. This means:

  • You will need to sit in a chair and will not be able to lie or sit on a mattress or stretcher;
  • Pets are not allowed in the shelter. Note: Assistance animals are allowed into the shelter to stay with their owner;
  • Alcohol, cigarettes and all flammable liquids (lighters etc.) are banned from the shelter;
  • All personal belongings are to be kept within a backpack or small bag able to fit under a chair;
  • You will need to be self-sufficient and bring food (there will be no cooking facilities), medication and essential personal items;
  • You may be in the facility for 24 hours or more.  Until the LDMG declare the cyclone has passed and it is safe to go, there will be no ability to enter OR leave the shelter once it is in “lock down”.

The public will be informed by the LDMG when the Storm Surge Shelter or other Places of Refuge are opened in preparation for a disaster through the media.

The Port Douglas Storm Tide Cyclone Shelter is at the rear of Port Douglas State School and is available for the rest of the year for hire as a multipurpose function centre with basketball/netball court and smaller, airconditioned meeting room and commercial kitchen. The hall holds 640 chairs. For more information or to make a booking visit the Port Douglas State School website.