WARNING: Wet season, cyclone preparation needs to happen now
PREPARE for a cyclone this weekend - it's not too soon.
That's the advice of Gladstone Regional Council deputy mayor Chris Trevor - who is second in charge of the Gladstone Disaster Management Group.
Cr Trevor said the region already had their first taste of an early wet season, with hundreds of millimetres of rain hitting the region's southern towns like Lowmead and Agnes Water last month.
On Wednesday the Bureau of Meteorology's ENSO Outlook was upgraded from La Nina watch to La Nina alert level.
Going from watch to alert means there is about a 70 per cent chance - or triple the normal likelihood - of a La Nina effect hitting Australia.
La Nina is associated with cooler-than-average sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, creating wet conditions in Australia and dry conditions in South America. El Nino is the reverse phenomenon.
But there is no certainty it could lead to wet weather in the region.
Cr Trevor attended an update on the cyclone season with the BoM earlier this month in Rockhampton.
He said the new prediction could mean there would be a short burst of a lot of rain.
"Potentially there could be a cyclone in December or January," Cr Trevor said.
"The warning bells are ringing very loudly in our ears.
"What we're saying as community leaders is prepare early, this is something to take into consideration immediately."
Another key point the disaster group deputy raised was people should not become complacent.
"We've sort of become accustomed to these warnings, and when things don't happen, we get into that pattern of laziness, where we say 'she'll be right, it won't happen to us'," Cr Trevor said.
Being prepared with everything is key to staying safe.
"People need to start stocking up now, getting their water supplies, their batteries for torches, all the stuff they would normally do in February but bring it forward by a couple of months," Cr Trevor said.