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Media Release

Pre-Christmas cyclone expected to kick start busy cyclone season in the Kimberley
Tuesday 12 October 2010 – 2:30 PM

With predictions of an early and busier than normal cyclone season, people in the Kimberley are being urged to prepare their homes and families now.

 

FESA Kimberley Regional Director Rob Cox said the Bureau of Meteorology has advised there is a higher than normal risk of a pre-Christmas cyclone.

 

“The Bureau of Meteorology has also indicated this season has the potential to be a lot worse than last year with more cyclones expected,” Mr Cox said.

 

“The best defence is to prepare your home before the season officially begins at the end of October and have a family cyclone plan.

 

“During the next few weeks you should trim branches and trees, check the condition of your cyclone shutters or screens, remove or secure loose items around your home and prepare an emergency kit with portable battery operated radio, torch, spare batteries and first aid kit.

 

“Talk to your family about your cyclone plan, including who will pick the kids up from school, when you will get cash out, how you will secure your boat or caravan, who will put fuel in the car, what you will do with pets and where you will go if you need to relocate.” 

 

Last season Severe Tropical Cyclone Laurence impacted remote communities between Port Hedland and Kalumburu leaving a trail of destruction at Eighty Mile Beach, Wallal and Mandora Stations where it crossed the coast.

 

Eighty Mile Beach Caravan Park owner Colin Lewis, who survived the brunt of the category 5 cyclone, said he would never want to experience another one of its kind again. 

 

“It was scary, the place was virtually flattened,” Mr Lewis said. “Buildings were demolished, windows were blown out and trees snapped off.

 

“I can’t begin to describe the sound and you couldn’t see two metres in front of you because of the sand and horizontal rain being blown around.

 

“I urge everyone in a cyclone prone area to keep up to date with the latest information and if you decide to leave before the cyclone hits give yourself plenty of time to get to a safer place.”

 

Colin’s advice comes as FESA and the Bureau of Meteorology embark on their annual Cyclone Awareness Tour throughout the North West to help people prepare.

 

The first community information session will be held in Broome on Monday 18 October, followed by more sessions at Derby, Fitzroy Crossing and Beagle Bay and Bidyadanga Remote Indigenous Communities throughout the next fortnight.

 

Mr Cox encouraged both new and seasoned residents to attend the meetings.

 

You will hear the Bureau’s tropical cyclone season forecast first hand, learn how to prepare your home and family and what actions to take during and after a cyclone,” Mr Cox said.

 

“You can also pick up a copy of FESA’s Cyclone Smart Kit, a guide to what people should do during each stage of a cyclone.”

 

The Cyclone Smart Kit is also available from local SES units. For more information visit www.fesa.wa.gov.au

 

Public Meetings

Public meetings will be held at the following locations:

 

Broome

Monday 18 October at 6pm.

There will be a barbeque following the meeting at 7.30pm.

Broome State Emergency Service (SES) Unit, Orr Street, Broome.

 

Derby

Tuesday 19 October at 6pm.

Light refreshments will be provided at 7.30pm following the meeting.

Derby FESA SES and VFRS Collocation Emergency Services Facility.

Corner Derby Highway and Sutherland Street.

 

Fitzroy Crossing

Wednesday 20 October at 6pm.

Light refreshments will be provided at 7.30pm following the meeting.

Fitzroy Crossing Volunteer Emergency Services Unit (VES).

Fallon Road, Fitzroy Crossing (opposite oval).

 

Beagle Bay Remote Indigenous Community

Monday 25 October at 9am.

Beagle Bay Community Office, Off Cape Leveque Road, Dampier Peninsula.

 

Bidyadanga Remote Indigenous Community

Thursday 28 October at 10am.

Bidyadanga Community Office off Great Northern Highway, 170 kilometres south of Broome.

 

For more information about the public meetings contact FESA Broome Office: 9158 3200.

 

END

 

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