People in the Kimberley, Pilbara and Gascoyne heading away for the Easter holidays need to ensure their home is adequately prepared for a cyclone before they leave. FESA Kimberley Regional Director Robert Cox said cyclone season continues until the end of April and it was possible the region could see another cyclone over the Easter school holiday period. “Many people leave their homes during the holiday season and they should ensure the necessary preparations are done in the event a cyclone crosses the coast whilst they are away”.
Mr Cox said, “The need to be prepared is especially highlighted with current warnings for a tropical cyclone in the Northern Territory which shows that cyclones are still able to form late in the season.” Mr Cox said residents should take steps to clean up and prepare now especially if they are leaving their properties over Easter. He said this includes erecting cyclone shutters on windows and making plans to secure boats, caravans and vehicles before leaving home. “People should be proactive in ensuring the safety of their homes and property before they go on holidays because as a cyclone approaches any preparation that has not been done may fall on their friends or neighbours. This puts an extra burden on the residents left in the area who also have their own preparations to consider,” Mr Cox said.
Two Cyclones have already impacted on WA’s north this season. The most significant was Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Laurance which caused major destruction when it twice crossed the coast at Kurri Bay and a few days later at Eighty Mile Beach.
SES offers these tips for people preparing their homes:
- Trim tree branches and dispose of debris
- Secure outdoor furniture and loose material that could be blown around by extreme winds
- Put cyclone shutters or screens in place to protect windows and external doors
- Place boats, caravans and vehicles in sheds or secure them with correct cyclone tie down procedures
- Check your emergency kit which should include a first aid kit, torch, battery operated portable radio, spare batteries, water bottles, non-perishable food, a portable cooking device and special needs for pets
- Prepare a plan for your family on what to do if a cyclone approaches
For information on what to do before, during and after a cyclone contact your local SES unit or visit www.fesa.wa.gov.au