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Media Release

Kimberley preparing for possible cyclone over Christmas holidays
Friday 23 December 2011 – 5:00 AM

People in the north and east Kimberley are being urged to prepare their homes and families for a possible tropical cyclone.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) advises that a low north east of Darwin could develop into a tropical cyclone early on Saturday.
 
BoM Senior Meteorologist Brad Santos said there was potential for the low to affect the north Kimberley coast early next week, bringing a risk of strong winds, flooding and isolation.
 
“The WA communities at greatest risk are those in the north east Kimberley including Wyndham and Kununurra,” Mr Santos said.
 
This will be the first tropical cyclone near the Australian coast for the 2011-12 season.
 
FESA Kimberley Regional Director Robert Cox said the cyclone season runs until the end of April and it is possible the region could see at least two more cyclones this season.
 
“Many people leave their homes during the holiday season but they need to make sure they have made the necessary preparations in the event of a cyclone crossing the coast while they are away,” Mr Cox said.
 
“The need to be prepared is especially highlighted with a tropical low in the Northern Territory and a real possibility of it moving into WA over the Christmas holidays.
 
“Residents should take proactive steps to clean up and prepare now, particularly if they are going away over Christmas.”
 
FESA’s State Emergency Service (SES) has these tips for people preparing their homes:
•    Trim tree branches and dispose of debris
•    Secure outdoor furniture and loose material that could be blown around by extreme winds
•    Put cyclone shutters or screens in place to protect windows and external doors
•    Place boats, caravans and vehicles in sheds or secure them with correct cyclone tie down procedures
•    Check your emergency kit which should include a first aid kit, torch, battery operated portable radio, spare batteries, water bottles, non-perishable food, a portable cooking device and any special requirements for pets
•    Prepare a plan for your family on what to do if a cyclone approaches
 
For helpful tips to stay safe, you can find a ‘Cyclone Smart’ kit at your local SES unit or for more information visit www.fesa.wa.gov.au.
 
ENDS
 
Media Contact: Media and Public Affairs on-call 0427 479 499 or during office hours 9225 5955.
 

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