Be the calm before the storm this cyclone season

Published on Thursday, 9 December 2021 at 3:56:38 PM

November to April is tropical cyclone season in our North West. Please follow the advice below to get prepared, stay informed and keep safe during tropical cyclone season.

Tropical cyclones can impact the north west coast from November to April. Other areas like the Midwest-Gascoyne and Goldfields-Midlands often experience flooding as a cyclone moves south. Cyclones can be severe and cross the WA coast every year with destructive winds, torrential rainfall, flooding, dangerous storm surge and heavy swells.  The coastline between Broome and Exmouth is the most cyclone-prone region in Australia. The area between Whim Creek and Mardie is most at risk.

Your safety is your responsibility. Be the calm before the storm and follow the advice below to get prepared, stay informed and keep safe during the cyclone season.

WATCH The Calm Before The Storm Video -

Dangers of tropical cyclones

Tropical cyclones can be frightening! They can cause death, injury, major structural damage and disruption to essential supplies like electricity, water and gas.

Destructive winds, torrential rain and storm surge can cause flooding and extensive damage to buildings and outdoor structures (especially those poorly maintained or located in exposed locations).

The most intense or destructive weather occurs at the centre, or eye of cyclones. In these conditions, small objects become deadly missiles and can make being outside dangerous. This includes driving a vehicle or being in a boat.

Cyclones can intensify rapidly. Stay safe by having a cyclone plan, a safe place to shelter, supplies and know how to stay informed.

Stay informed

Tropical cyclones are forecast weather events, so you have time to plan. Stay up to date with weather and cyclone warnings in the weeks and days before your trip: 

• Visit  for current and forecasted weather and warnings 
• Visit u for current warnings and alerts 
• Listen to ABC radio or local radio station

Remember, there may be no mobile phone reception in remote areas, so it is important to have a battery-operated radio with you.

Cyclone alerts and warnings
DFES and the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) work together to inform the community when there is a cyclone risk. Once BoM issue a Tropical Cyclone Watch or Warning, DFES will provide warnings and advice on Emergency WA.
You should familiarise yourself with the alerts below and what they mean in the event of a cyclone.
Blue Alert: Get ready for a cyclone
Yellow Alert: Act now to stay safe
Red Alert: Shelter now
All Clear: Be careful.

Be prepared

Getting yourself and your family prepared is your responsibility. There is always the chance of a cyclone hitting your community, even if there hasn’t been one in years.
Between May and October, get your home ready inside and out and prepare a cyclone plan.

Your emergency kit needs to be packed and ready ahead of cyclone season. You may be without power and water for several days or weeks after a cyclone, and shops may not be open.

Your kit should include

  • Your cyclone plan and emergency contact details.
  • Important documents like passports, identification, proof of address and insurance information. Store in a waterproof bag to keep safe.
  • Non-perishable food, can opener, cutlery and cooking equipment.
  • Battery-operated radio and lights with spare batteries.  
  • A complete first aid kit.  
  • Toiletries and sanitary supplies.
  • Protective clothing, such as sturdy footwear, gloves and protective goggles/glasses.
  • Spare house and car keys.
  • Special items for infants, the elderly, those sick or injured and people with disability.
  • Spare clothes and shoes for each member of the household
  • Cages, bedding, leads, identity collars, medications and food for your pets.
  • Remember to check your kit regularly in case supplies need replacing (e.g. expiry dates).
  • If you have pets and animals, you need to plan what you’ll do with them during a cyclone.

Once an alert has been issued, you should update your kit to include:

  • At least five days’ supply of food, drinking water and medicines for your household, including pets.
  • Medications.
  • Mobile phone charger.  
  • Bank cards and cash (electrical outages can impact ATMs).

Prepare your home and property well before tropical cyclone season commences.

  • Check your home, contents and car insurance cover are in order
  • Identify which room is the strongest part of the house in case you need to take shelter
  • Identify where and how to turn off the mains supply for water, electricity and gas
  • Purchase emergency equipment such as containers to store drinking water, extra fuel supplies, wide masking tape for windows, hessian bags for sandbags.

What to expect

The intensity of wind and rain you experience depends on where the cyclone is.  You may experience the eye of the cyclone with its most destructive wind and rain. If you live further away, the wind and rain will be less intense. The noise from the wind and rain can be very loud, with crashing and banging sounds that can occur for many hours. Seas will be rough with huge swells. If you own a boat, do not go out on the water when a cyclone warning has been issued. Storm surge is also likely which can put coastal structures and homes at risk.

More info

Refer to Prepare for a cyclone - Department of Fire and Emergency Services for more information and further hints and tips.

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