In response to the largest mass evacuation since Cyclone Tracy in 1974, MSS Security’s Darwin based operations team was contacted by the Northern Territory Police Fire Emergency Services (PFES) requesting urgent assistance. It was Thursday 21st March when Cyclone Trevor began to bear down. The NT Government had declared a state of Emergency with the intention to evacuate all remote communities across the Gulf of Carpentaria – an area that housed around 2,000 residents.
At the time our NT Operations team was contacted, all available information was extremely limited. The team was reliant on local resources to gather general updates and obtain specific data on locations and population numbers – ultimately leading to a change in request, from managing 1 evacuation centre to 2 – all within 1 hour of service commencement.
The two sites, Marrara Stadium and Royal Darwin Showgrounds were set up as emergency evacuation centres for affected residents, each requiring a 24 hour service with a team of 6 security officers and 1 security Team Leader per shift.
With torrential rain continuing and a humid temperature reaching around 36 degrees, an urgent request was broadcasted to all MSS Security staff seeking their availability. The first response was received within just 15 seconds! Officers from various sites across the Darwin business used their range of expertise while HSE teams from both QLD and SA worked together to provide logistics support.
Throughout the entire ordeal, all staff involved showed their professionalism and adaptability to the quickly changing situation. They implemented a range of security focused measures to ensure the safety of the families, including curfews and baggage inspections, and maintained a positive environment to curb social problems.
Although our staff and other volunteers could not prevent the outcome of Cyclone Trevor, their efforts provided the most comfortable environment possible for all those affected.
MSS Security is extremely proud of the effort, commitment and enthusiasm shown by all involved considering the difficult and potentially dangerous circumstances.