Shelters in the NT

A good emergency survival plan includes knowing where you and your family and pets will shelter. Read below to find out more about your shelter options during a cyclone or flood.

Location details of emergency shelters within the Darwin and Greater Darwin region
Berry Springs Primary School 1150 Cox Peninsula Road, Berry Springs
Casuarina Senior College 61 Parer Dr, Casuarina
Cox Peninsula Community Government Council Office Lot 62 Wagait Tower Road, Wagait Beach
Dripstone Middle School 326 Trower Road, Tiwi
Girraween Primary School Carruth Road, Girraween
Nightcliff Middle School 90 Aralia Street, Nightcliff
Palmerston Senior College Tilston Avenue, Driver
Rosebery Primary & Middle School Corner Forrest Parade & Belyuen Roads, Rosebery
Supreme Court Building The Esplanade, Darwin
Taminmin College Challoner Circuit, Humpty Doo
Location details for car parks within the Darwin and Greater Darwin region
Casuarina Square Shopping Centre (Entry to shelter via Big W Basement Carpark), the Centres other carparks are not classed as shelter 247 Trower Road, Casuarina
Double Tree by Hilton Hotel Esplanade 116 The Esplanade, Darwin
Palmerston Hub Complex  3 Maluka Street, Palmerston 
Palmerston Shopping Centre  Temple Terrace, Palmerston 
Location details for emergency shelters within the Katherine region
Shelters will be open in this order; tune into your local radio to learn more.
Katherine High School Grevillea Street, Katherine East
MacFarlane Primary School  Grevillea Street, Katherine East 
Casuarina Street Primary School  Corner Casuarina Street & Needham Terrace, Katherine 
Location details for emergency shelters within the Alice Springs region
Braitling Primary School 80 Head Street, Braitling
Centralian Middle School  56 Milner Road, Gillen 
Centralian Senior College  10 Grevillea Drive, Sadadeen 
Larapinta Primary School  22 Albrecht Drive, Larapinta 
Yirara College  South Stuart Highway, Alice Springs 

Sheltering at home during a cyclone

Since Severe Tropical Cyclone Tracy in 1974, building codes have required buildings in cyclone-prone areas to incorporate cyclone resistant construction. Buildings that comply with the Building Code of Australia are generally referred to as being "built to code".

If your house has been built to code and has been well maintained, you should shelter at home. If your house is not to code, you should consider sheltering with family or friends who have a house built to code.

When sheltering in any home it is important to use the strongest, most protected part of the house. This is usually the smallest room in the house with small or no windows.

Points to remember

  • Small rooms are generally stronger than large rooms
  • Central hallways might give greater protection because they are surrounded by the rest of the house
  • Rooms with few or small windows are better than those with large windows
  • Solid doors with additional securing bolts give greater security than standard doors
  • Metal screens or solid shutters give added protection against flying debris

To learn more about improving the safety of your home in the event of a cyclone, please see our Publications.

Preparing your home and shelter area before a cyclone

  • Where possible, board your windows from the outside or block them from the inside using a mattress and some strong sturdy furniture
  • Remove pictures and valuables from walls and shelving
  • Place valuables and precious items in strong water-proof garbage bags and tape up
  • Pack away all loose items into cupboards and secure cupboard doors if possible
  • Prepare your shelter area with mattresses, blankets, pillows, emergency kit with radio, items to keep everyone occupied and facilities for pets if they are sharing your shelter

Evacuation inland

If you choose to evacuate, you should leave early.

Points to remember

  • Evacuate well before strong winds affect your area
  • Allow time to secure and protect your property
  • You may need to sustain yourself and your family for a few days, so be prepared
  • Listed to radio or television broadcasts and only return when the "all clear" is given
  • Advise friends of plans and confirm your safe return

Emergency shelters

Emergency-shelter-logo Carpark-shelter-logo

Emergency shelters are unique to the Northern Territory and are a direct legacy of Cyclone Tracy. Following Cyclone Tracy, selected buildings were repaired and upgraded by the Government so they could be used as emergency shelter facilities during the rebuilding of Darwin. Shelters have continued to be provided for residents who are at risk from STORM SURGE, live in caravan parks or other non-coded homes.

Points to remember

  • They have a limited capacity and do not guarantee safety in all circumstances
  • They do not allow animals
  • They are mainly staffed by voluntary personnel with a police and medical presence
  • They do not provide meals or special baby needs
  • They might become welfare assembly centres after the cyclone
  • They are used at your own risk - the Northern Territory Government accepts no liability for any loss, injury or death arising from the use by the public during a cyclone

NOTE: A number of undercover car parks have been identified as places where residents can shelter in their cars with their pets, provided the pets are properly restrained. These car parks were built to code but they are not designed as emergency shelters. They do not have supporting staff, are not fully enclosed, are without amenities and do not have debris screens. Vehicles and pets may not be left unattended.

To view a map of these shelter locations, please click HERE.

Sheltering during a flood

Before making the decision of where you will shelter during a flood, it is important to identify local risks in your area. You may need to contact your local council or the Northern Territory Emergency Service directly to discuss local plans, warning systems, evacuation routes and strategies.

To know what action you should to take to prepare for a flood, please click HERE to go to the Flood Action Guide.