Red Cross staff and volunteers are on the ground and ready to help communities in WA affected by Cyclone Olwyn.
Friday March 13, 2015
Western Australia braces as Cyclone Olwyn bears down on the state's Northwest Cape. Photo: Jana-Sophie Lauer (Flickr)
As Queensland and the Northern Territory pick up the pieces following Cyclone Marcia and Cyclone Lam, now Western Australia faces a similar fate as Cyclone Olwyn bears down on the state's Northwest Cape.
Tropical Cyclone Olwyn made landfall early on Friday 13 March and is expected to intensify to a Category 3 as it crosses the Northwest Cape, bringing with it strong winds and rainfall.
In anticipation of a serious emergency, Red Cross already has teams of trained staff and volunteers on the ground in the Pilbara region, ready to help those affected by the storm. In Exmouth, the town hall is being used as an evacuation centre and Red Cross is there, providing support and psychological first aid to people seeking refuge.
Red Cross has also launched Register.Find.Reunite. in Exmouth and Onslow in the Pilbara region. The service helps reconnect friends and family separated during a disaster and Red Cross is helping people register in the Exmouth evacuation centre. Residents in the affected areas or those wanting to locate friends and family can register online at register.redcross.org.au.
As Olwyn travels south, Red Cross is urging people to ensure they are prepared before the cyclone hits.
"Being prepared can save lives," says Red Cross emergency services spokesperson Erin Fuery. "People who have prepared for a disaster often have more resilience and that can help them recover faster, both financially and emotionally.
"Getting prepared involves four simple steps: knowing the risks in your area, making a plan, getting an emergency kit and knowing your neighbours. The last step is crucial-it gives you an instant support network-and we find when people know others in their community they often cope better in the long term."
To help people prepare for this, or any emergency, Red Cross has a number of useful resources which can be downloaded for free at redcross.org.au/emergency-resources.
As cyclones batter communities in Australia and the Pacific, Red Cross is there. Your donation means we can help communities prepare, respond and recover from disasters. Donations can be made online at redcross.org.au or by phoning 1800 811 700.