News

Facebook disaster page saved lives

Winds of up to 250kmh thrashed Cairns during the devastating severe tropical Cyclone Yasi on February 2.
Winds of up to 250kmh thrashed Cairns during the devastating severe tropical Cyclone Yasi on February 2. DAVE HUNT

BY day Garrett Wells is a teacher at Advanced Skills Training.

By night the Rockhampton man provided life-saving advice to millions of people during the Queensland floods and Cyclone Yasi.

And today he will be teacher to about 70 high-ranking emergency service officers, Department of Justice head honchos, CEOs, and academics.

The creator of Facebook page, Cyclone Yasi Update, and his skills, have been called in by the government and he will be flown to the Australian Emergency Management Institute in Victoria today to discuss using Facebook as a disaster management tool.

On February 2, the fateful day the cyclone ravaged North Queensland, the page had 509,743 hits, 3576 wall posts, more than 22 million wall posts viewed on wall feeds, and at its peak, 91,000 members.

But Garrett says he’s no IT genius, he just wants to help.

“It started as something small, but grew into something bigger,” he said.

From humble beginnings with his CQ Flood Update – Version 2 Facebook page, to SEQ Flood Update, to NQ Flood Update, and finally Cyclone Yasi Update, Garrett is now seasoned in providing disaster information 24/7.

“Ours was the only 24-hour, real-time updating service,” he said.

“But I was just a man with an idea, I couldn’t do it without my team.”

Garrett recruited 11 people across the state by Facebook, most of whom he’s never met, to help him run the pages.

His motley crew of Facebook administrators include two

professional photographers, two storm chasers, a transport operator and two amateur meteorologists.

“I couldn’t have done it without them, they are a godsend,” he said. “We’ve been mentioned on CNN, Reuters, the Sydney Morning Herald, Channel 7.”

But Garrett will have to face an important crowd alone today and over the next two days as he runs his workshop.



10 best street art spots to take an Insta selfie

IF YOU are in need of a few trendy new Instagram snaps, then get your phone and selfie-stick ready and head to Brisbane.

Theatre royalty graces Brisbane stage

Don't miss Charles Edwards in this incredible theatre performance.

WHEN acting royalty comes to town, you sit up and take notice.

Don’t go chasing waterfalls…find them on these drives!

The Scenic Rim is just one place nearby that you'll love.

BRISBANE isn’t all bright lights and city slickers.

Your boots are made for walking these tours

Brisbane Greeters tours are a great way to learn the local history of the city.

YOU don’t need a bike or bus for a seriously good tour of Brisbane.

Discover Brisbane’s laneway gems

Brisbane's laneways will surprise you.

NOT all of Brisbane City is as it seems…

Drink where the cool kids do this summer

There are a bunch of new bars open in Brisbane, make sure you're there!

CHECK out these new funky bars.

Science Festival seriously awesome

Don't miss the World Science Festival Brisbane!

CALLING everyone who wants to see something totally cool.

REVEALED: Rocky region's best performing property suburbs

Check out the suburbs selling well in Rockhampton.

New NAB report shows CQ's top real estate areas

Watch: Police dog too quick for Rocky thief on the run

Police inspector Adam Muir at a press conference in Rockhampton.

Barking mad crim took on a police dog

CQ Leagues Club future could be decided in 16 days

The CQ Leagues Club has closed until further notice.

New details for future of iconic club revealed

Local Partners

Oscars winners 2017: Full list of Academy Award winners

WHO won Oscars this year? Here’s a full list of every winner in each category, from best film to best actress and actor.

TOUR BUS STUNT: Randoms gatecrash the Oscars

A busload of tourists crash the Oscars.

Oscars 2017: Live Coverage of the 89th Academy Awards.

Muslim actor makes Oscars history

Mahershala Ali accepts the award for best actor in a supporting role for Moonlight at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

MOONLIGHT star Mahershala Ali makes Academy Award history.

NO ONE OFF LIMITS: Kimmel burns down the house at Oscars

Host Jimmy Kimmel speaks at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

HOST delivers a torrent of abuse on Hollywood’s night of nights.

Oscars guest’s shocking wardrobe malfunction

Blanca Blanco arrives for the 89th annual Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, USA, 26 February 2017.

ACTRESS suffers X-rated wardrobe malfunction.

Star style at the Oscars 2017 red carpet

Nicole Kidman arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

Oscars 2017: Red Carpet Dresses and Outfits — Best Dressed Celebs.

Married At First Sight couple flouts the rules

Sean and Susan in a scene from Married At First Sight.

ONE couple is openly flouting the rules of Married At First Sight.

REVEALED: Rocky region's best performing property suburbs

Check out the suburbs selling well in Rockhampton.

New NAB report shows CQ's top real estate areas

Mining homes dive: $600k homes sell for $120k-$300k

18 Yeates Street, Moranbah sold for $135,000 in December, after being repossessed by a bank. The owners bought for $545,000 in August, 2011.

The economy still has two speeds, but with a painful twist

Mackay's property market climbing like a Rocket Man

Renewed confidence in Mackay means more homes are being snapped up by those eager to plant their roots in the region.

There's movement in the real estate sector and it's all positive.

'Why we drove 800km to buy a treehouse with a disco ball'

The new owners have planned a few updates, but will stick with much of the original design.

A couple travelled almost 800km for the home of their dreams.

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!