Cyclone season is here and the Pilbara community is being urged to stay indoors when a Red Alert has been issued for their own safety. State Emergency Service (SES) is urging the community to stay safe and adhere to advice issued during a cyclone, especially during a Red Alert. Pilbara Regional Director John Newman said it is vital that people stay indoors during a Red Alert until local authorities have the opportunity to make the area safe.
“Each season we commonly see people moving outside their homes before the All Clear is given, which is dangerous to both the community and to the emergency services personnel trying to assess the damage,” Mr Newman said. “During a Red Alert there is a threat to lives and properties, you are in danger and need to act immediately which means sheltering in the strongest, safest place of your house or the building you are in, or the closest welfare centre until the All Clear is given.
“However, this message seems to fall on deaf ears as we continually encounter people outdoors and on the roads causing a danger to themselves and others. “The sooner we can do the rounds and clear any dangers, the sooner the All Clear can be given and people can get back to their business,” Mr Newman said. If a cyclone is posing a significant threat to the community, FESA can declare an emergency situation It is during an emergency situation and the Red Alert phase that people face fines of up to $50,000 if they fail to comply with a direction to stay indoors and off the roads.
To ensure you’re prepared, the following items are essential during a cyclone:
- A portable, battery-operated radio and spare batteries
- Torches (recommended in preference of candles)
- A supply of tinned or dehydrated food for four days
- At least three litres of water, per person, per day, for four days
- Emergency lighting
- Suitable clothing and footwear
- A first-aid kit and essential medicines
People who live in low-lying areas near the coast also need to plan where to go if they are advised to evacuate due to the threat of a storm surge. If public welfare centres are required by Pilbara communities during a cyclone, they will be opened and details broadcast on ABC Radio.
For more information on what to do during each alert stage of a cyclone visit www.fesa.wa.gov.au
To keep up to date with incidents that occur during the cyclone season, call 1300 657 209, visit www.fesa.wa.gov.au or listen to news bulletins.