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Media Release

Cyclone season on the horizon for Pilbara
Tuesday 11 October 2011 – 9:15 AM

With the start of the cyclone season next month, FESA and the Bureau of Meteorology will begin their pre-season tour of the Pilbara on Monday 17 October.

A series of public meetings will be held to advise the community about the tropical cyclone season forecast and provide vital information about what to do before, during and after a cyclone.
 
FESA Pilbara District Manager Jim Cahill encouraged people to come along to the sessions, which are taking place in Port Hedland, Wickham, Karratha, Pannawonica, Onslow and Exmouth.
 
“Although the last two cyclone seasons have been quiet, residents need to prepare their homes and families in case a cyclone impacts on their community this season,” he said.
 
“Destructive winds, flooding and storm surge caused by severe tropical cyclones can result in widespread damage, injury and loss of life.
 
“People can find themselves without power and water and cut off from family and friends due to road closures and breakdowns in telecommunications.
 
“The best defence is to prepare your home before the season officially begins in a few weeks and have a family cyclone plan,” Mr Cahill said.
 
“You should store or secure loose items around your home that could be picked up and thrown by strong winds, causing damage or injury. Reinforce windows and doors and identify the safest part of your home.
 
“Know what you will do during a cyclone. Go to the strongest safest place of your house or the closest welfare centre, remembering to stay indoors until the all clear is given.”
 
Severe weather, heavy rainfall and one of the strongest La Niña’s on record resulted in extensive flooding in the North West in late 2010 and early 2011.
 
In late February, as Tropical Cyclone Carlos impacted the North West, a tornado caused damage to homes, cars, buildings and a school in Karratha.
 
For more information about how to prepare your home and family for a cyclone, get a copy of FESA’s Cyclone Smart Kit from www.fesa.wa.gov.au or your local State Emergency Service (SES) unit.

Public meetings will be held in the following locations:
 
Port Hedland
Monday 17 October at 6.30pm
Council Office and Civic Centre, McGregor Street
 
Wickham
Tuesday 18 October at 6.30pm
Wickham Community Hall, Carr Street
 
Karratha
Wednesday 19 October at 10am and 6.30pm
Tambrey Drive, Nichol
 
Pannawonica
Thursday 20 October at 12pm
Pannawonica Roadhouse
 
Onslow
Thursday 20 October at 6.30pm
Onslow Emergency Service Building, Cnr Hooley and McGrath Street
 
Exmouth
Thursday 20 October at 6.30pm
Shire Recreation Centre, Willersdorf Road
 
For more information about the public meetings, contact FESA Port Hedland on 9158 1300.
 
Attention Chiefs of Staff/Editors
FESA District Managers and Bureau of Meteorology Regional Managers will be available for media interviews before or after the public meetings.
Contact FESA Media and Public Affairs for more details.
 
Media Contact: Media and Public Affairs 9225 5955.

 

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