As the first dramatic images from cyclone-ravaged Kalbarri emerged, we made an observation in today’s newspaper about the days ahead for the town. Amid the carnage, we noted that DFES had swung into action to help as homes were secured and the clean-up began. Perhaps most important though, would be residents helping each other, we said. “If the coronavirus pandemic taught us anything it’s that West Aussies stick together and help out when they’re needed,” we said. “There will be plenty of help on offer for Kalbarri today.” Within hours we were shown to be spot on. More than 50 police officers had arrived in the region, and 160 extra DFES personnel including SES volunteers, were deployed. “Kalbarri will get through this, Kalbarri will come back from this, Kalbarri will rebuild,” Minister for Emergency Services Reece Whitby said. That sentiment was echoed across the devastated community — with the words “we will rebuild” etched into the beach along the town’s coastline. WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said he had one officer who had his house collapse around him, and was “at work today”. “He’s just one example (of the community’s resilience),” he said. “I’ve just been briefed by one of the officers who said they’re amazed by the people here in Kalbarri. That’s the sort of spirit that will get us through this disaster.” A round of applause rippled across a town meeting held at the local golf course when it was announced phone reception had been returned to the area — almost 36 hours after it had been lost. DFES deputy operations officer Tim Dalwood told the 400-plus people inside the room he had never seen a community come together like it had. “Your resilience is ten-fold. It gives me goosebumps thinking about it,” he said after describing seeing residents picking up their neighbours’ roofs and families taking in strangers who had nowhere to sleep and nothing to eat. “The resilience of this community is something I have not seen at this high level in my career.” And for those who want to help but are not on the scene, the Lord Mayor’s Distress Relief Fund has been activated. City of Perth Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas announced the fund was active from 10am Tuesday morning and had been kicked off with a $500,000 donation. The extent of the damage means that this will be a long haul. The State and Federal Governments can play their part by making sure that the willingness to work together already shown on the ground is reflected in official responses so that recovery is well-managed and ensures that those who need help can get it. Responsibility for the editorial comment is taken by WAN Editor-in-Chief Anthony De Ceglie.