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Media Release

Wet Season preparations begin in Midwest Gascoyne
Monday 22 October 2012 – 4:45 PM

With the start of the Wet Season only weeks away, FESA and the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) are using their annual awareness tour to encourage communities in the Midwest Gascoyne to stay safe and plan ahead. 
Two public meetings will be held as part of the tour, where people will be provided with vital information about what to do before, during and after a cyclone or flood. 
State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers will also be manning information displays at local IGA supermarkets in Denham and Carnarvon.
BoM last week forecast a likelihood of around two cyclone coastal crossings this Wet Season, including a significant risk of at least one severe impact during the season.
FESA Midwest Gascoyne SES District Manager Tim Dalwood encouraged people to come along to find out how to prepare for the season ahead.
“If you’re a tourist, new to the area, or just need a refresher, come along and learn about how you can protect your loved ones and property from cyclone or flood,” Mr Dalwood said.
“The best defence is to start preparing your home and family now, and that includes creating a plan.”
“We encourage everyone to make sure you have discussed your plan with your family or housemates so that everyone knows what to do when a flood or cyclone is predicted, particularly during a Red Alert, when you need to take shelter immediately and stay indoors until the All Clear is given.”
Mr Dalwood said that while the Midwest Gascoyne had a lower risk of a direct cyclone impact compared with the Pilbara and Kimberley, the area regularly experienced heavy rainfall and flooding which could isolate communities, industries and travellers.
“Severe flooding can leave many people without power, water, fuel supplies, communications and essential services for extended periods of time,” he said.
“It’s important to get ready now before the season strikes, so that you have the supplies and equipment ready to sustain yourself if your area is cut off or impacted by heavy rain and flooding.”
People in the Midwest Gascoyne can get ready for the season by:
• Checking all cyclone shutters or screens on doors and windows.
• Organising an emergency kit including a portable battery operated radio, torch, spare batteries, mobile phone, first aid kit and enough food and water for at least four days.
• Making arrangements to properly secure any caravans, boats or trailers, particularly if you intend to go away for extended periods of time.
For more information about how to prepare your home and family for a cyclone or flood, get a copy of FESA’s Cyclone Smart or Flood Smart Kits from www.fesa.gov.au, your local SES unit or visit the shopping centre stalls.

Public meetings will be held in the following locations: 
Denham (Shark Bay)
Tuesday 23 October at 2pm
Venue: Community Recreation Centre 
Coral Bay
Wednesday 24 October at 6pm
Venue: Shopping Centre 
Information stalls will be on display in the following locations: 
Denham (Shark Bay)
Wednesday 7 November, 10am – 2pm
Venue: Shopping Centre 
Saturday 10 November, 8am – 12pm
Venue: Boulevard Shopping Centre 
For more information about the public meetings, contact FESA Geraldton on 9956 6000.


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