Cyclones and emergencies
Nhulunbuy Police Station (08) 8987 1333
Nhulunbuy Fire Station (08) 8987 1000
NT Emergency Services Volunteer Unit – Nhulunbuy (08) 8987 2727
Poisons Information 13 1126
St John Ambulance – Nhulunbuy (08) 8987 3922
Dialing 000 is the quickest way to get the right help from emergency services and should be used to contact Police, Fire or Ambulance services in a life threatening or time critical situations.
Any enquiries relating to damaged power lines within Nhulunbuy, the Industrial Estate or Gove Airport, please call the Rio Tinto Community Hotline on 1800 996 508.
Please be aware that during a disaster or emergency situation the Nhulunbuy Corporation will activate its Emergency Management Plan and normal services will resume operation when it is safe for staff to operate and the emergency has passed.
Any enquiries relating to the Nhulunbuy Corporation’s responsibilities such as town roads, stormwater drains, Corporation buildings, reserves or stray animals will be dealt with when the disaster or emergency situation event is over and we have resumed normal services.
Please contact (08) 8939 2200 to report any damage.
Cyclones are likely to affect essential services and possibly disrupt your ability to travel and communicate with each other. It is also likely that you and your family will need provisions sufficient to sustain yourselves for three days or more. Get your family or household together and agree on an emergency plan.
- Check that your house is built to code and well maintained so that you can decide well beforehand where you intend to shelter, at home if it is safe or with friends or relatives in a secure area. Shelter in a public emergency shelter if these options are not available to you
- If you cannot shelter at home, decide the route you will take and how you will get to your chosen shelter.
- Secure or clear loose materials around your property, these could become dangerous and damaging missiles in high winds.
- Trim back trees and branches around your house so that they are well clear and cannot damage your property during cyclones or storms.
- Ensure your emergency/evacuation kit is complete and ready for use.
- Know if your property will be affected by storm surge or flooding and identify your nearest safe high ground and your safest route to it.
- Include arrangements for the welfare of your pets and animals in your emergency plans.
- If you have your own transport, remember to have it fully fuelled and ready for use.
- When the threat of a cyclone is imminent, listen to all media outlets for information and updates and continue listening as the cyclone develops or passes.
- In addition to all the normal cyclone preparations you should make, consider house security and advising relatives or neighbours of your intentions and plans.
Once a cyclone watch is issued
A CYCLONE WATCH indicates the areas and communities that may experience gales or stronger winds in one to two days time.
- 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. 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 Gove FM and/or television stations for further information and warnings.
- Check neighbours are aware of the situation and are preparing.
Once a cyclone warning is issued
A CYCLONE WARNING indicates the areas and communities that may experience gales or stronger winds within 24 hours.
- 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.
- Close shutters and board or block all windows.
- Draw curtains and shut doors.
- In case you may need to evacuate, pack an evacuation kit of warm clothes, essential medications, baby formula, nappies etc, valuables, important papers, photos, mementoes in waterproof bags, to be taken with your emergency kit.
- Large/heavy valuables could be protected in a strong cupboard.
- Remain indoors (with your pets).
- Stay tuned to Gove FM for further information.
On warning of local evacuation
- Lock your house; switch off electricity, gas, water, etc. Take your evacuation kit.
- Wear sturdy footwear (not thongs) and warm clothing for protection against cuts from debris.
- Heed warnings and follow advice given by Northern Territory Police.
When the cyclones strikes
- Stay inside and shelter well clear of windows in strongest part of house – 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 water.
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 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 water courses.
- DO NOT go sightseeing.
Where can I get more information?
The main sources of cyclone information in Nhulunbuy are radio (Gove FM 106.9 and Yolngu Radio 96.5 locally) and television stations. During a cyclone threat, Gove FM keeps its team of volunteers on duty 24 hours a day to broadcast cyclone information. Because of the high chance of the power supply being disrupted, it is important to have a battery-operated radio to listen for cyclone updates.
The Bureau of Meteorology also provides the latest watches, warnings and supporting information on its website. Automated telephone messages about cyclone watches and warnings can be reached by calling 1300 659 211.