Cyclone Yasi, due to hit the Australian coast as early as Wednesday, is being described as a "deadly event".
The "huge and life threatening storm" will be the second to hit Queensland this week. Cyclone Anthony weakened quickly after hitting land on Monday morning, and damage was limited to uprooted trees and downed power lines.
But Yasi is expected to bring with it flash flooding and winds of up to 137 miles per hour.
The Premier of Queensland, Anna Bligh, said that everyone needed to take the storm seriously.
"I would rather you were inconvenienced for three days than have your lives threatened by dangerous, fast rising, powerful storm surge waters. So the message to people in those areas is still, if you're in a low-lying area, if you are on the waterfront and you can relocate, it is the safest and best thing to do."
Residents of the flood-ravaged northeast are preparing for what is being predicted as one of the fiercest storms the region has ever seen.
Hamilton Island, a popular tourist destination off Queensland, began evacuating some visitors on Monday, and other islands were considering doing the same.
Some nursing homes along the coast are evacuating, and many residents in low-lying areas are leaving their homes until the storm passes.