Prepare now to ensure the wet season doesn’t dampen your plans
Residents and travellers in the North West of Western Australia are being urged to take wet season preparations seriously with the risk of at least one severe category three tropical cyclone predicted.
At the launch of the Tropical Cyclone Seasonal Outlook on Monday October 9, the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) forecast a 55 per cent chance of an above average number of tropical cyclones in waters off the North West coast of WA, with a likelihood of two impacting the coast.
BoM WA Media Manager Neil Bennett said forecasters were not expecting to see anything out of the ordinary in terms of the number of tropical cyclones expected to reach WA but cautioned against a fixation on the numbers.
“It takes just one cyclone to impact your community and then that’s probably the worst season that you’ve experience for a long time,” Mr Bennett said.
He said tropical lows had the potential to cause significant damage and each system needed to be treated with the upmost care and respect.
“During the wet season, we will see these bursts of active monsoon activity and that will bring heavy rain and thunderstorms, and that combined with a tropical low can produce widespread flooding,” he said.
“Last year we saw the wettest wet season in some parts since records began in the nineteenth century.”
Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm said the tragic loss of lives last wet season should not be forgotten.
“People often underestimate the life-changing impact a cyclone or flood can have. Complacency can lead to destruction that is not only distressing and expensive, but can be deadly,” Commissioner Klemm said.
Commissioner Klemm said State Emergency Service crews and volunteer firefighters, along with DFES staff had spent the past few months combating a demanding northern bushfire season and they will have very little reprieve before the wet season kicks off.
“I’m asking communities in the North West to help those hard working volunteers by helping yourselves, and taking some simple steps to prepare your home and family,” he said.
These include tidying up around your property, trimming trees and securing loose items that could become projectiles in strong winds, as well as having an emergency kit.
Commissioner Klemm said it was also important that both locals and tourists acquainted themselves with the cyclone warning system to know what they need to do at each level.
The tropical cyclone season runs from November 1 to April 30.
For information about how to keep safe during a cyclone or flood download a copy of Cyclone Smart and Flood Smart from the DFES website.