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How to prepare for a cyclone

Learn how to be prepared for a cyclone with these simple steps.

There are four key steps to staying safe and preparing for a cyclone emergency.



Get in the know about your cyclone risk and plan your alerts

Tropical cyclones occur along the northern coastline of Australia and can intensify rapidly. It is important to be prepared before they arrive.

Cyclones typically occur between November and April. They produce destructive wind speeds, heavy rainfall, flooding, storm surges and dangerous storm tides. 

If you live in a cyclone prone area, it’s important to find out from your local council the location of any cyclone emergency shelters and if your property is located in a storm surge area.

In an emergency, things can change quickly so it is vital to have reliable, current information from a trusted source. Links to your state-based emergency responder are here:

Refer to the Bureau of Meteorology weather warnings online and information on current tropical cyclones. Another recommended source of up-to-date information is the ABC Emergency website and their cyclone information.



Get connected and plan who you will need to find in a cyclone emergency

In an emergency, you’ll need to contact some key people. As part of your cyclone preparation plan, identify who they are and what you need from them. Also think about where your emergency meeting place will be. 

  • Know where your nearest cyclone shelters are and the safest rooms to shelter in your home.
  • Swap phone numbers with a neighbour or other local contact you can reach out to in an emergency.
  • Follow your local area social media feeds to connect with people in your community.
  • Make sure your key contacts know where you intend to go if there is a cyclone and if necessary, what plan you will make to meet.
  • Know the plans of your children’s school or care centre in a cyclone emergency.
  • Plan for where your pets or animals can stay and what they will need.



Get organised and save or store important personal documents

Important personal and insurance documents will make recovery following a cyclone emergency easier.

Here's an important documents checklist that could help prove your identity and property ownership:

  Drivers licence
  Birth certificates
  Marriage certificate
  Medical documentation
  Property titles
  Bank and financial documents
  Insurance documents

Tip: Ask your doctor to store important medical information, including the names and doses of medications.


  • Turn off all electricity, gas and water; unplug all appliances
  • Clear your property of small loose items and secure any larger items.
  • Make sure shutters are closed or use packing tape on your windows to hold any broken glass in place.



Get packing for the cyclone emergency and beyond

Pack your important documents, prepare a survival kit and think about precious items that will be important to your recovery 

Important documents can be scanned and loaded onto a laptop or hard drive, or copied and kept safe in a waterproof bag or box.

A Survival Kit includes things you’ll need if there’s no safe drinking water, if roads are cut off, shops closed and power down. Here's a checklist to get yours started: 

  Mobile phone
  Chargers and batteries
  Medicines and first aid supplies
  Protective clothing
  Non-perishable food
  Hand sanitizer

Recovery items are familiar possessions that give you comfort. They can include:

  Sentimental items, like photos, jewellery, family memorabilia.
  Children’s most-loved toys.
  Laptops and chargers. Laptops are useful for storing scanned documents, for staying connected, for entertainment and to archive photos.

Get Prepared app

Build and keep your emergency cyclone preparation plan close at hand with our app.