Cyclone preparation warning

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph
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Hedland SES is urging the community to prepare ahead of this year’s cyclone season, and will be hosting a series of public information sessions in the coming weeks.

Hedland SES local manager Keith Squibb said it was essential everyone knew their cyclone risk and had prepared a cyclone plan for their family and property.

“Creating a cyclone plan now will help you take action and avoid making last-minute decisions that could prove deadly,” he said.

“Planning before the cyclone season can help save lives, minimise property damage and help your family to cope during a cyclone.”

The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast about five cyclones will form off the North West coast during the 2017-18 wet season, two of which are predicted to make landfall.

BoM WA severe weather services manager Bradley Santos said despite there being no significant systems affecting the Port Hedland coast in 10 years, residents should still be prepared and take warnings seriously.

“It has been quite a few years since Port Hedland has had a significant impact — we have to go back to Cyclone George in 2007 — for the last significant impact, and with the transient population and perhaps some complacency setting in, people do tend to forget about the impact of significant tropical cyclones,” he said. “This season could be the year that a significant system does affect Port Hedland, so residents need to prepare now and remain vigilant throughout the season.”

Mr Squibb said the unit would be preparing for the cyclone season by conducting public information stands, holding cyclone information sessions with schools and businesses and conducting regular training.

“SES volunteer their time to prepare and respond to cyclones, however we need the community to do their part and make sure they are adequately prepared this season,” he said. The first of the Hedland SES information sessions will be held tomorrow at 10.30am at the ibis Styles Port Hedland.

To attend the cyclone information session, contact the Port Hedland Chamber of Commerce at info@phcci.com.au.

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