Cyclones

The main natural threat to the Broome area is the unpredictable cyclone.

When a cyclone warning is issued from the Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre (TCWC) in Perth, the Local Emergency Operations Centre is activated and staffed by SES volunteers.

When a Yellow Alert is issued the Operations Centre is staffed 24 hours a day and can be contacted on 9193 5999 for information.

On this page:

  • Cyclone Warning Information
  • Preparation
  • Cyclone Alerts
  • Cyclone Severity Table & Cyclone Tracking Map

Cyclone Information

Cyclone Warnings

Warnings will be issued on ABC radio and other local radio and television stations.

The standard emergency warning signal (SEWS) is the main public warning for cyclones. Outlying communities and pastoral stations will be advised by the Operations Centre.

See also: Cyclone Alerts.

Preparation

The cyclone season extends from 1 November to 30 April. Preparing your family and your home for a cyclone is your responsibility.

If you live in a cyclone prone area, you should make it a priority between May and October to get your home ready inside and out.

Before cyclone season think about how you can help keep you and your family safe.

Around your home

  • Ensure your home meets local council building standards.
  • Decide whether it is safe to stay during a cyclone and consider if your walls, roof and eaves are secure.
  • Store or weigh down loose objects around your home like outdoor furniture that could be picked up and thrown by strong winds, causing damage or injury
  • Trim branches and treetops around your home.
  • Clear drains of rubbish and debris.
  • Fix shutters or metal screens to all your glass windows and doors.
  • Ensure you have double locks on external doors.
  • Learn how to switch off the electricity, gas and water.
  • Have enough tie-downs for your trailer, boat, caravan and garden sheds.
  • Ensure your insurance covers you for cyclones.

Your family

  • Prepare a family cyclone plan and consider who will collect the children from school and get cash out.
  • If your home is in a low lying area decide where you and your family can relocate to on safe, high ground in case of storm surge.
  • Learn the community alert stages (blue, yellow, red and all clear) and the steps for each.
  • Organise an emergency kit with a portable battery operated radio, torch, new spare batteries, first aid kit and enough food and water for four days.
  • Have a list of emergency phone numbers on display.
  • Learn where your nearest welfare centre is located.
  • Have a waterproof container to store your important documents (wills, passports and certificates etc).
  • Consider whether your family would need special help to relocate during a cyclone, especially if they are pregnant, elderly or have a disability.
  • Learn about existing local plans including the Local Tropical Cyclone Plan.

Your pets

  • Be aware that you cannot take pets with you to a welfare centre.
  • Consider whether you will relocate your pets with family or friends or whether you will secure them in the strongest part of your home with food and water.
  • Ensure your pet’s tags and registrations up to date for proper identification.

At the start of each season, the Shire conducts a special rubbish collection and will take away all your household junk if you put it on the verge at the appointed time.

Cyclone Watch and Warning Messages

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) issues Cyclone Watch and Warning advice to the public, DFES then issues Community Alerts to help keep you safe.

Cyclone Watch messages are issued every six hours whenever there is a possibility that a cyclone may produce gale force winds within 48 hours.

Cyclone Warning messages are issued when damaging winds or gales are likely to affect communities within 24 hours. They are released every three hours or every hour when it comes close to a community.

These messages contain information about the position and movement of the cyclone as well as the areas under threat.

COMMUNITY ALERTS

When a cyclone approaches, you can find community alert information on:

  • ABC radio and other local media.
  • DFES website www.dfes.wa.gov.au by clicking on the emergency alerts page emergency.wa.gov.au or by calling DFES’ Public Information Line on 13DFES (13 33 37).
  • On the Bureau of Meteorology’s website www.bom.gov.au or by calling the BoM’s Cyclone Warning Advice Line on 1300 659 210. 

Community alerts will be issued by DFES when a cyclone is coming. There are four stages of alerts – blue, yellow, red and all clear.

Listen carefully and do what the alerts say to help keep safe.

Broome Welfare Centre

  • Broome Recreation and Aquatic Centre (BRAC).

Cyclone Alerts

BLUE ALERT - Get Ready

  • Keep up to date with the development of the cyclone through radio, television or internet.
  • Find out when shops and businesses will close and when to collect your children from school.
  • Secure or remove loose material and rubbish from around your home or work.
  • Organise your emergency kit including first aid kit, essential medications, torch, portable radio, spare batteries, food and water.
  • Consider relocating people with special needs including people who are pregnant, elderly or have a disability.
  • Identify the strongest part of your house or the closest welfare centre.
  • Identify a safe place for your pet (most welfare centres do not accept pets, but do accept guide dogs).
  • Ensure you have adequate tie down materials or anchor points for loose items.
  • Organise a gas barbeque or portable stove to use outside in a dry, ventilated area, in case electricity is cut.
  • Remind your family of cyclone procedures.

YELLOW ALERT - Take Action

  • Monitor the radio, television or internet for information on the cyclone’s progress, particularly any storm surge advice.
  • Know where your family and pets are located and consider sheltering pets early.
  • Secure boats, caravans, trailers, garden sheds, rainwater tanks and LPG bottles to tie down points.
  • Store or secure other loose items like outdoor furniture that’s likely to be thrown about by destructive winds.
  • Be aware that shops will now be closing.
  • Obtain cash as banking services may not be available.
  • Put fuel in your vehicle and park it in a sheltered area with the handbrake on and in park or first gear.
  • Ensure your emergency kit is complete and fill emergency containers with water.
  • Make sure your neighbours have received this warning. If you are ready give them a hand.
  • Fasten all cyclone screens. Board up or heavily tape exposed windows. Close curtains and lock doors.
  • Pack a relocation kit, including warm clothes. Place valuables, important papers and photos in waterproof bags to be taken with your emergency kit.
  • Prepare to move quickly to the strongest part of your house or relocate to the nearest welfare centre if required.
  • If you live in a low-lying coastal area and the cyclone is likely to create a storm surge, you may be advised to relocate now. Refer to your family cyclone plan.

RED ALERT - Shelter Now

  • Disconnect electrical appliances and turn off gas supply valves.
  • Ensure that pets and animals are safely sheltered.
  • Go immediately to the strongest, safest part of your house or the building you are in (i.e. internal hallway, bathroom or toilet) or to the closest welfare centre.
  • Keep your emergency kit with you.
  • Take your relocation kit with you if you have been advised to relocate.
  • Stay away from doors and windows, and keep them closed and locked.
  • Keep listening to your portable radio for information on the cyclone’s progress.
  • Stay inside until the ALL CLEAR is given by authorities.

ALL CLEAR - Be Careful

  • Listen for information and follow advice from authorities.
  • If you need to go outside be careful because powerlines could be down and there may be fallen trees, broken water and sewerage lines, loose roof sheeting and other material.
  • Check to see if your neighbours are safe.
  • Check the whereabouts of pets and animals.
  • Avoid using telephones except in emergencies.
  • Start cleaning up around your home - stack loose material clear of water meters, valves and telephone lines.
  • If you relocated from your home, wait for advice before you go back. If returning, take the roads recommended by authorities and do not hurry.
  • If your property has been badly damaged and you need help call SES emergency assistance on 132 500.
  • For life threatening emergencies call 000.

Cyclone Severity Table & Cyclone Tracking Map

The severity of a tropical cyclone is described in terms of categories ranging from 1 (weakest) to 5 (strongest) related to the maximum wind gusts as shown in this table.

Please note that the descriptions of damage are indicative only, as damage may vary between localities due to factors such as building standards, surface flooding etc.

CategoryAverage Wind (Km/h)Strongest Gust (Km/h)Central Pressure (hPa)Typical Effects
1 63 - 90 Less than 125 Greater than 985 Negligible house damage. Damage to some crops, trees and caravans. Craft may drag moorings.
2 90 - 120 126 - 169 985 - 970 Minor house damage. Significant damage to signs, trees and caravans. Risk of power failure. Small craft may break moorings.
3 120 - 160 170 - 224 970 - 945 Some roof and structural damage. Some caravans destroyed. Power failures likely.
4 160 - 200 225 - 279 945 - 920 Significant roof loss and structural damage. Many caravans destroyed and blown away. Dangerous airborne debris. Widespread power failure.
5 More than 200 280 and greater Below 920 Extremely dangerous with widespread destruction.

Tracking Map

Click here to download the Tracking Map in PDF format.