Bayswater State Emergency Service (SES) will be better off this storm season thanks to a $2000 donation from Bunnings Morley and Inglewood stores. The donation is part of an initiative by Bunnings and Dulux that raised $200,000 Australia wide to support emergency services. SES Bayswater unit manager Ash Smith said it would give an extra boost to SES volunteers, particularly with storm season on the horizon. “Storm season is an extremely busy time for SES volunteers as they attend to calls for help from people whose homes have been badly damaged by storms.” Mr Smith said. “Most calls are from trees falling on roofs, flooding from heavy rain and roof and gutter damage that people can’t fix themselves. “The money raised will be used to buy a computer to train SES volunteers to respond to natural disasters and play a promotional DVD during shopping centre and school visits that encourages people to prepare for the storm season.”
Mr Smith said Perth had already been battered by one of the worst storms in 16 years, causing hundreds of millions of dollars damage to thousands of cars and homes. “While it was a freak warm weather storm that occurred out of the normal storm season, it still highlights the damage storms can cause,” he said. “As a result of that storm Bayswater SES volunteers spent more than 400 hours over four days responding to calls for help throughout the metropolitan area.”
Mr Smith said while storms cannot be prevented, people can prepare their homes and families for bad weather to minimise damage and reduce the risk of injury or even loss of life. “People should check their roofs and gutters for damage and clear gutters and downpipes of leaves and blockages so they don’t overflow after heavy rain,” he said. “Taking the time to trim branches near your home could prevent them falling onto your roof or cars. “Storing or weighing down loose objects around your home such as outdoor furniture that could be picked up and thrown by strong winds can also prevent damage or injury. “Inside your home, make sure you have an emergency kit containing a portable battery operated radio, first aid kit, torch and spare batteries, as these may prove invaluable during a storm. You should also organise an emergency plan, including a relocation plan for your family and pets in case your home floods.”
For more tips on what to do before, during and after a storm visit www.fesa.wa.gov.au.
If your home has been badly damaged by a storm and you cannot fix it yourself, call the SES