Cyclone Season in Australia is between November and April.
Cyclones are violent storms that contain high winds rotating around a calm centre of low pressure. Winds produced can be in excess of 200km/hr which can cause extensive damage, and can result in death or injury caused by flooding, buildings collapsing or fling debris.
When the eye of a cyclone passes directly over you, a sudden lull in the wind will occur. This lull may last for a few minutes or as long as two hours, leading many to believe the cyclone has passed, but this is not the case. The other side of the cyclone will strike with the winds blowing from the opposite direction.
If a tropical cyclone reaches land, the cyclone will lose energy becoming a rain depression; dropping vast amounts of rain in short periods of time. It is important to remember this in case of flash flooding.
Cyclones are categorised according to the strength of the wind gusts. There are five cyclone categories. These categories will help you determine what level of precautions you will need to take, and what damage can result.
A tropical Cyclone Warning is issued by Australia's national weather, climate and water agency, the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) and includes information on where the cyclone is, what its movement and direction is, how strong it is, and identifies the areas that could be affected or at risk.
Tropical cyclone watch: Issued if a cyclone is expected to affect coastal communities within 48 hours, but not expected within 24 hours.
Tropical cyclone warning: Issued if a cyclone is affecting or is expected to affect coastal communities within 24 hours.
It is important to have a thorough understanding of cyclones and the impact that they can have on our Region.
To be prepared in the event of a cyclone, check your house and roof is in good condition; trim tree branches well clear of your house; clear property of loose sheet iron and other potential missiles (including outdoor furniture); prepare an emergency kit including a battery-operated radio; upon a Cyclone Warning, listen to radio (837AM ABC) and/or television for further advice.
Make sure you fill as many water containers as possible, close shutters, board up or heavily tape all windows, prepare the strongest part of your building (usually an internal hallway or bathroom) using strong tables and mattresses, and beware of the eye of the storm.
As a property owner you will need to identify whether you will evacuate your property or wait the cyclone out within your home. Properties constructed after 1982 are generally structurally sounds to withstand a cyclone.
The following resources are available to help residents be prepared for cyclone season: