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Media Release

Early start to cyclone season prompts safety reminder
Friday 22 November 2013 – 4:00 PM
Western Australia is seeing an early start to the 2013-14 wet season with a tropical low now located off the Kimberley coast.
The North West coast between Broome and Exmouth is the most cyclone prone part of Australia’s coastline and while the season officially starts in November, tropical cyclones this early are rare.
If the low strengthens into a tropical cyclone (TC), this will be the first time a cyclone has formed in WA in November since TC Annika in 2008.
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) has issued a Cyclone Advice for the Kimberley region.
DFES Kimberley Superintendent Grant Pipe said now was the time for people in cyclone prone areas to ensure they were prepared for the season, compiled an emergency kit, and were aware of the community cyclone alerts and warnings levels.
"It is important that the various alert levels are taken seriously, particularly as we are seeing cyclone activity much earlier than normal,” Superintendent Pipe said.
"A past experience of a cyclone will not necessarily be the same as your next experience, and if a cyclone does cross near your community, you need to make sure you and your family are ready.”
The community alerts system has three levels which are Blue, Yellow and Red.
Blue Alert: People need to start preparing for a cyclone, making sure they have an emergency kit, pets and people with special needs are catered for and loose materials around the home are secured.
Yellow Alert: People should start fastening cyclone screens, deciding where they are going to shelter within their home and if they are in low lying areas, listen for alert updates on whether they may need to relocate.
Red Alert: Now is the time to take shelter, ensure gas and electrical appliances are turned off and simply stay inside in the strongest part of the building.
For more information on how to prepare for a cyclone or flood, visit the DFES website www.dfes.wa.gov.au/safetyinformation/cyclone to download a Cyclone or Flood Smart Kit.
Media Contact: DFES Media and Public Affairs 9225 5955


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