All Western Australians are urged to reduce the dangers and prepare their properties for the coming winter storm season.
Emergency Services Minister John Kobelke today launched the 2008 FESA Storm Season campaign, highlighting what people should do before, during and after a severe storm.
The annual storm season officially starts tomorrow, however WA has already experienced some severe weather conditions, including record-breaking April rainfall.
“Severe storms cannot be prevented, but much can be done to limit their effects on the community,” Mr Kobelke said.
“The storm season from May to September is traditionally a busy time for our State Emergency Service volunteers and while they are there to help people in their times of need, property owners can do a lot to reduce or prevent storm damage.”
Storm-prone areas of the State stretch from Kalbarri to Albany, with the Bureau of Meteorology identifying particular high risk hazard areas, including Rockingham and Mandurah.
Local SES units will focus community initiatives across the State, with additional efforts in communities with large elderly and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) populations.
“WA has more than 1,800 devoted SES volunteers who don’t think twice about helping others affected by severe storms - often in the middle of the night when it is cold, wet and windy,” the Minister said.
Last year WA was hit by 69 storms, with more than 600 calls for assistance and more than 6,300 volunteer hours in response, with the most common requests related to roof and gutter damage, fallen trees and flooding.
Mr Kobelke said while property owners were responsible for clearing debris and organising permanent repairs, during a storm the SES managed storm debris containment, provided access to homes and businesses, made temporary repairs to storm damaged structures and rescued people trapped or injured by storms.
Residents who have been affected by severe weather and require emergency assistance can call the SES on 132 500 from anywhere in the State.
Storm season brochures on what to do before, during and after a severe storm are available at http://www.fesa.wa.gov.au
Minister's office - 9222 9211