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Media Release

Prepare for WA’s first major storms of the season
Tuesday 7 May 2013 – 4:45 PM

In the first week of the storm season, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) is urging people to ensure their homes and families are prepared for dangerous weather.
 
While a strong cold front is approaching the west coast today, the Bureau of Meteorology has advised a second system is forecast to hit the southwest corner tomorrow afternoon bringing widespread damaging winds that are only seen once or twice a year.
 
DFES Metropolitan Acting Assistant Commissioner Gary Kennedy said the coming storms could cause damage to homes and property, and make road conditions hazardous.

Mr Kennedy said DFES had coordinated with other key agencies in preparation for the dangerous conditions, and crews including volunteers from the State Emergency Service (SES) were ready to assist the community.
 
He said people who had not prepared their homes and families should now do so, and this included compiling an emergency kit with a battery powered radio, torch, spare batteries and first aid kit.
 
“Secure anything that could be picked up and thrown by strong winds, causing damage or injury, and check on friends, family and neighbours to see if they need help,” Mr Kennedy said.
 
“People should stay clear of fallen power lines which should be treated as being live, even if they appear not to be.
 
“If your property has been badly damaged, call the SES on 132 500 if you are unable to safely fix the damage yourself and provide as much information as possible to the operator about your situation.”
 
If you have not yet prepared your home:
• Store or weigh down loose objects around your home like outdoor furniture that could be picked up and thrown by strong winds, causing damage or injury
• Ensure your emergency kit is complete including a battery operated radio, torch, spare batteries and first aid kit
• Ensure pets and animals are in a safe area
• Move vehicles under cover
• Unplug electrical appliances and avoid using landline telephones if there is lightning.
• If you are away from home, contact family or friends to prepare your property
• Construction site workers should store loose building material and tie down sheds
• Boat owners should securely moor their boats
• Campers should find safe shelter away from trees, powerlines, storm water drains and streams.
 
People with damage to their homes and businesses should contact their insurance providers for assistance with permanent repairs.
 
For information about what to do before, during or after a storm visit http://www.dfes.wa.gov.au/safetyinformation/storm/Pages/default.aspx
 

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