History has shown that Perth is not immune to severe storm and flooding events.
It is a good idea to be prepared for any emergency such as storm, flooding or even loss of power.
An emergency kit is not something that many people in the Perth metropolitan area ever have thought about preparing. However, having one handy is actually a great idea, and could make a big difference to your family’s safety / welfare either during or immediately after a flood or storm event.
Your emergency kit should include:
- A portable radio and a good torch, with fresh batteries for each.
- Bottled water and some snacks.
- A first aid kit including any essential medication.
- Any special items such as nappies or baby food.
- Rubber gloves, and some waterproof bags (large zip-lock bags are great) for some clothing, important documents and other valuables.
- A hard copy of any important contact numbers.
May 1st, is the first day of Winter, and is an ideal time to start making some simple preparations for those winter storms.
Before the storm season really kicks in, try to do the following:
- Get your emergency kit ready.
- Trim any tree branches well clear of your house and your gutters.
- Clear your yard / garden of loose objects (such as toys, bicycles and lawn furniture).
- Clean and check the roof, guttering and downpipes.
If a storm is approaching, or a storm warning has been issued for your area, then the following may be useful:
- Listen to local radio (ABC) for information.
- Bring children and pets indoors.
- Park your car under cover and away from trees if possible.
- Disconnect all unessential electrical appliances – Power surges are very common in Perth during storms, and insurance rarely covers appliances damaged by this.
During and after the storm:
- Stay inside and shelter well clear of windows.
- Listen to your local radio (ABC) for storm updates.
- Once the storm has passed, then check your house for damage.
- If you need emergency assistance ring the SES on 132 500.
If caught outdoors during a severe storm, then find emergency shelter (not under a tree).
If you are driving, then pull over and stop the car, clear of trees, power lines or streams wherever possible.
Key safety tips to remember during and after a storm:
- Keep clear of fallen power lines, and any damaged buildings and fallen trees.
- Avoid storm drains and creek beds.
If you suspect that you may be subject to flooding, and a flood warning has been issued, the following advice may help:
- Check your emergency kit and fresh water stocks.
- Listen to your local radio / TV for further information.
- Stack furniture and possessions above likely flood level, on beds and in the roofspace (electrical items on top).
- Move garbage, chemicals and poisons to a high place.
- Secure objects that could float and cause damage.
- Move any livestock to high ground.
- Check your car and fill it with fuel.
Key safety tips to remember during a flood event:
- Turn off electricity, gas and water.
- Do not walk or drive through flood water. You never know what has happed to the surface below the water…
- Do not eat food which has been in contact with flood water and boil all tap water until supplies have been declared safe.
- Don’t use gas or electrical appliances which have been flood-affected, until they have been safety-checked.
- Beware of snakes and spiders, which may move to drier areas in your house.
- Avoid wading, even in shallow water, as it may be contaminated.
If you have any insurance queries, contact the Insurance Council of Australia on 1300 728 228
For further advice about what to do before, during and after a storm, please visit the DFES website at www.dfes.wa.gov.au
The current DFES ‘Preparing for Storms’ brochure can be viewed here – DFES_Storm-Prepare