SES Volunteers Association of Western Australia (Incorporated)

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10/05/2013 – SES Storm Awareness Week

Preparation key to storm safety across Perth metropolitan area ( see the SES storm awareness video click link on bottom of this page)

The State Emergency Services (SES) is urging people across the Perth metropolitan area to start preparing their homes for the coming storm season.  Storm Awareness Week is being held from 11 – 18 May this year with people reminded to start securing loose objects, clearing gutters and downpipes and trimming branches while conditions are still mild.

Between May and October each year, storms can bring damaging winds, heavy rainfall, flash flooding and storm surge to southern parts of Western Australia including the metropolitan area.  SES spokeperson Assistant Commissioner Bradley Stringer said most storms were localised and short lived, but their devastating impact was often underestimated.  “While storms can last for mere minutes, their aftermath can be truly shocking and impact people for days, weeks and even months,” he said. 
“Severe storms can include thunder, lightning, hail, flash flooding, tornados and gale force winds, and the best way to protect your home, family and business from these elements is to be prepared.”

Destructive storms including a small tornado ripped through Perth between 7– 12 June last year, flattening commercial buildings and homes, with Morley and Dianella, and the southern suburbs of Cockburn, Rockingham and Mandurah the hardest hit.   State Emergency Service (SES) received more than 1,500 calls during this period to assist with major structural damage and debris including roof removals, windows and garages being blown in, garden sheds lifted up and fallen trees.

People were forced to seek other shelter after five homes were declared uninhabitable because of structural damage.  Across the lower part of Western Australia, SES volunteers responded to a total of 84 storm related incidents last year.  Volunteers contributed in excess of 16,000 hours of their own time to attend 2,329 requests for assistance.
 
The SES recommends a number of safety measures to prepare for storm season including:

  • trimming branches around the home to prevent them falling on roofs or cars
  • hiring a contractor to clear trees from power lines
  • clearing gutters and downpipes of leaves and blockages so they don’t overflow after heavy rain
  • checking the roof for cracked ridge capping, loose tiles or loose nails.

For advice about what to do before, during and after a storm visit www.dfes.wa.gov.au

Storm Awareness Week video  http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=AZeFKUPmBdY

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