DFES - Department of Fire and Emergency Services
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Media Release

Do you know who to call if your home is damaged by a storm?
Friday 11 June 2010 – 9:15 AM

If a storm causes major structural damage to your home like a badly damaged roof or your home is flooded, would you know who to call for help?


FESA’s State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers are there to assist by calling 132 500.


FESA Assistant Chief Operations Officer Gary Gifford said SES volunteers have made themselves available to help people during times of need 24 hours a day seven days a week since 1959.


“Hundreds of SES volunteers brave cold, wet and windy conditions to help people in need of emergency assistance every storm season,” Mr Gifford said.


“During the March hailstorm SES volunteers and emergency services personnel responded to more than 3,000 calls for help.


“Volunteers worked tirelessly to temporarily repair homes and businesses throughout the metropolitan area, and remove fallen trees that damaged homes, carports and cars.”


However Mr Gifford said the 132 500 SES number is strictly for those in need of urgent assistance for storm and flood damage to their property.


“People should consider the nature of their inquiry and the appropriate agency to deal with it to avoid clogging up emergency hotlines with unrelated requests,” Mr Gifford said.


“The messages is simple, you should call 000 to report all fire and life threatening emergencies and if your home or property has been damaged by a storm and you need urgent assistance call the SES on 132 500.”


During a storm SES volunteers attend to trees that have fallen on homes and cars, structural damage, like damaged roofs or ceilings, and can help if your home has been badly flooded by pumping out flood water.


Their role also involves rescuing trapped or injured people and helping people relocate if they are in danger.


Mr Gifford said volunteers will not attend to trees that have fallen on fences, broken fences or if there is debris around your property or in your pool.


“The responsibility falls back on the owner for sorting these types of things out,” he said. 


“People should contact their insurance company or property manager if they have damage and to organise permanent repairs.”


Mr Gifford urged people who call the SES for assistance to remain patient. 


“Calls are placed in a queue and answered as soon as possible but the most urgent jobs, such as major structural damage will be attended to first,” he said.


Mr Gifford praised SES volunteers for their incredible dedication and commitment to keep their local communities safe.


“SES volunteers give up their precious time with families and loved ones or leave their jobs to assist the community when they’re called upon,” Mr Gifford said.


I would also like to thank the many families, friends and employers who stand behind our volunteers and support the valuable role they play in our local communities.”


For more information about what to do before, during or after a storm visit www.fesa.wa.gov.au


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