Personal Cyclone Preparedness and Safety Procedures

Emergency Natural Disasters Personal Cyclone Preparedness and Safety Procedures

BEFORE THE CYCLONE SEASON

  • Check with your local council or your building control authority to see if your home has been built to cyclone standards.

  • Check that the walls, roof and eaves of your home are secure.

  • Trim treetops and branches well clear of your home (get council permission).

  • Preferably fit shutters, or at least metal screens, to all glass areas.

  • Clear your property of loose material that could blow about and possibly cause injury or damage during extreme winds.

  • In case of a storm surge/tide warning, or other flooding, know your nearest safe high ground and the safest access route to it.

  • Prepare an emergency kit containing:

    • a portable battery radio, torch and spare batteries;

    • water containers, dried or canned food and a can opener;

    • matches, fuel lamp, portable stove, cooking gear, eating utensils; and

    • a first aid kit and manual, masking tape for windows and waterproof bags.

  • Keep a list of emergency phone numbers on display.

Check neighbours, especially if recent arrivals, to make sure they are prepared.

WHEN A CYCLONE WATCH IS ISSUED

  • Re-check your property for any loose material and tie down (or fill with water) all large, relatively light items such as boats and rubbish bins.

  • Fill vehicles' fuel tanks. Check your emergency kit and fill water containers.

  • Ensure household members know which is the strongest part of the house and what to do in the event of a cyclone warning or an evacuation.

  • Tune to your local radio/TV for further information and warnings.

  • Check that neighbours are aware of the situation and are preparing.

WHEN A CYCLONE WARNING IS ISSUED

Depending on official advice provided by your local authorities as the event evolves; the following actions may be warranted.

  • If requested by local authorities, collect children from school or childcare centre and go home.

  • Park vehicles under solid shelter (hand brake on and in gear).

  • Put wooden or plastic outdoor furniture in your pool or inside with other loose items.

  • Close shutters or board-up or heavily tape all windows. Draw curtains and lock doors.

  • Pack an evacuation kit of warm clothes, essential medications, baby formula, nappies,
    valuables, important papers, photos and mementos in waterproof bags to be taken with
    your emergency kit. Large/heavy valuables could be protected in a strong cupboard.

Remain indoors (with your pets). Stay tuned to your local radio/TV for further information.

ON WARNING OF LOCAL EVACUATION

Based on predicted wind speeds and storm surge heights, evacuation may be necessary.
Official advice will be given on local radio/TV regarding safe routes and when to move
.

  • Wear strong shoes (not thongs) and tough clothing for protection.

  • Lock doors; turn off power, gas, and water; take your evacuation and emergency kits.

  • If evacuating inland (out of town), take pets and leave early to avoid heavy traffic, flooding and wind hazards.

  • If evacuating to a public shelter or higher location, follow police and State/Territory Emergency Services directions.

  • If going to a public shelter, take bedding needs and books or games for children.

Leave pets protected and with food and water.

WHEN THE CYCLONE STRIKES

  • Disconnect all electrical appliances. Listen to your battery radio for updates.

  • Stay inside and shelter {well clear of windows) in the strongest part of the building,
    i.e. cellar, internal hallway or bathroom. Keep evacuation and emergency kits with you.

  • If the building starts to break up, protect yourself with mattresses, rugs or blankets under a
    strong table or bench or hold onto a solid fixture, e.g. a water pipe.

  • Beware the calm 'eye'. If the wind drops, don't assume the cyclone is over; violent winds
    will soon resume from another direction. Wait for the official 'all clear'.

If driving, stop (handbrake on and in gear) - but well away from the sea and clear of trees,
power lines and streams. Stay in the vehicle.

AFTER THE CYCLONE

  • Don't go outside until officially advised it is safe.

  • Check for gas leaks. Don't use electric appliances if wet.

  • Listen to local radio for official warnings and advice.

  • If you have to evacuate, or did so earlier, don't return until advised. Use a recommended route and don't rush.

  • Beware of damaged power lines, bridges, buildings, trees, and don't enter floodwaters.

  • Heed all warnings and don't go sightseeing. Check/help neighbours instead.

Don't make unnecessary telephone calls.