Ride out cyclone with checklist

Refer to the following guide, provided by Emergency Management Australia and the NT Emergency Service, to protect your family and property.

It’s important to be cyclone ready in the Northern Territory.
It’s important to be cyclone ready in the Northern Territory.

ONCE 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 your vehicles’ fuel tanks and fill jerry cans with fuel if you have any.

• Check your emergency kit and fill any water containers you may have (you should have at least 3 litres of water per person per day for at least 72 hours).

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

• Tune in to your local radio and/or television stations for further information and warnings.

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

UPON A CYCLONE WARNING

• Listen for the announcement that schools will close and be prepared to collect your children.

• Park vehicles under solid shelter (with the handbrake on and in gear).

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

• Where possible board your windows from the outside or block them from the inside using a mattress and some strong sturdy furniture.

Draw curtains and shut doors.

• In case you may need to evacuate pack an evacuation kit of warm clothes, essential medications, baby formula, nappies, valuables, important papers, photos etc. in waterproof bags to take with your emergency kit.

• Put large/heavy valuables in a strong cupboard.

• Remain indoors (with your pets).

• Stay tuned to your local radio for more information.

ON WARNING OF A LOCAL EVACUATION

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

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

• Take your evacuation and emergency kits, lock your doors, turn off power, gas and water at the mains (contact Power and Water to ask how and where).

• 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 NT Police and Northern Territory Emergency Service directions.

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

• Leave pets protected and with food and water, or you can take them to one of the designated underground car parks — they must be restrained and you must remain with your pets.

WHEN THE CYLCONE IS IMMINENT

• Heed all warnings and follow advice given by Emergency Service personnel.

• Go directly to your shelter. Public shelters will be open at this stage.

WHEN THE CYCLONE STRIKES

• Stay inside and shelter well clear of windows in strongest part of the house — cellar, bathroom, internal toilet or passageway.

• Disconnect all electrical appliances.

• Listen to your portable radio for cyclone updates.

• If house starts to break up, protect yourself with mattress, rugs, blankets or tarpaulin. Anchor yourself to a strong fixture (such as water pipes) or get under a strong table or bed.

• Beware the calm ‘eye’. Don’t assume the cyclone is over — if a calm period is due to the ‘eye’, violent winds will soon resume from the opposite direction.

• If driving, stop — clear of trees, power lines and streams.

AFTER THE CYCLONE

• Listen to local radio for official warnings and advice.

• Don’t go outside until advised officially that it is safe. If you need to go outside, be careful of fallen power lines and trees, broken sewerage and water lines, loose roof sheeting and other material.

• If you had to evacuate, don’t go home until advised. Use route recommended and stay calm.

• Don’t make unnecessary telephone calls.

• Beware of fallen power lines, damaged buildings and trees, and flooded watercourses.

• Don’t ignore warnings and don’t go sightseeing.

• If your pets are injured, seek veterinary treatment.

• If your pets are lost, notify your local council, microchip registry, neighbours and nearby animal shelters. You can also check social media sources.

Note: Managers of resorts, hotels, motels and caravan parks should take steps to ensure visitors are familiar with the dangers and know what to do in the event of a cyclone.

Originally Published in NT News.