The Department of Fire and Emergency Services has warned people in the State's north-west to prepare for tropical cyclones over the festive season.

The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast two coastal cyclone crossings, including the risk of at least one severe impact during the 2012/13 northern wet season.

BOM severe weather services regional manager Andrew Burton said the festive season usually signalled the start of the cyclone season.

"This time of year brings with it an increased risk of a tropical cyclone affecting north-west communities," he said.

"Tropical cyclones can produce extremely strong winds, flooding rains and storm surge which may result in significant damage to communities as well as isolation."

Residents who are planning holidays are advised to prepare their homes in case a cyclone crosses the coast while they are not home.

DFES chief superintendent Robert Cox said now was the time to prepare for destructive weather.

"With school holidays now underway, residents should take proactive steps to clean up around their homes, particularly if they are planning on leaving for an extended period of time," he said.

""I urge everyone in a cyclone or flood prone area to keep up to date with the latest information and if you decide to leave before the severe weather hits, give yourself plenty of time to get to a safer place."

The West Australian

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