SES Volunteers Association of Western Australia (Incorporated)

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28/04/2010 – Local SES volunteers help people prepare for storm season

Local State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers will be on hand next weekend to help people in the Gosnells and Maddington area prepare for the upcoming storm season.   Gosnells SES Local Manager Mark Geary said he and seven local SES volunteers will visit the Bunnings Maddington store on Saturday 8 May as part of Storm Awareness Week (1-8 May).

SES volunteers will be on hand between 10am and 2pm to give people tips on how to prepare their homes and families before the onset of bad weather.   “Between May and October storms bring lightning, hail, damaging winds, floods and tornados that damage homes and property and can even cause injury or loss of life,” Mr Geary said.

“The recent March hailstorm caused hundreds of millions of dollars damage to thousands of cars and homes.   “While it was a freak warm weather storm, it still highlights the damage storms can cause.  “As a result of that storm Gosnells SES volunteers spent more than 400 volunteer hours over four days responding to calls for help, mostly in the Gosnells area late at night.

“The operations ranged from removing fallen trees from roofs through to temporarily repairing collapsed roofs.   “Some of this damage could have been prevented if people had taken the time to prepare their homes.”

Mr Geary said people should take advantage of the milder weather in early May to check their roof and gutters for damage and clear gutters and downpipes of leaves and blockages so they don’t overflow after heavy rain.  “You should trim branches near your home to prevent them falling on your roof or car and hire a contractor to clear trees from powerlines.

“Taking the time to store or weigh down loose objects around your home or work like outdoor furniture that could be picked up and thrown by strong winds, could prevent damage or injury,” Mr Geary said.   “Inside your home, make sure you have an emergency kit with portable battery operated radio, first aid kit, torch and spare batteries, as these may prove invaluable throughout the storm season.”

Mr Geary said people should also organise an emergency plan, including a relocation plan for their family and pets in case their home was flooded.

During a storm, FESA State Emergency Service volunteers make temporary repairs to damaged homes and rescue people trapped or injured, however people are responsible for clearing debris and organising permanent repairs.   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 can’t fix it yourself, call the SES on 132 500.

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