NSW SES Commissioner Carlene York said while storm season usually falls between October to March, severe weather can happen at any time and that residents should always be ready for a potential increase in storms and floods this summer.
Commissioner York and Police and Emergency Services Minister David Elliott today launched 'Get Ready' - a NSW SES campaign to help communities prepare for the upcoming storm season.
There are eight things that you can do now to prepare your home and help reduce the potential damage caused by severe storms. These are:
- Maintain your yard and balcony. Secure or store items that could blow around in strong winds.
- Clean your gutters, down pipes and drains regularly to prevent blockages.
- Trim trees and branches that could potentially fall on your home or property.
- Fix any damage to your roof, including broken or missing tiles.
- Check your insurance policy is current and adequate.
- Make a Home Emergency Plan for your family that outlines what you would do in an emergency.
- Prepare an emergency kit with essential items in case you lose power or need to leave home in an emergency.
- Listen to media for weather warnings.
As part of the campaign, NSW SES volunteers demonstrated the dangers of driving through floodwaters.
"Unfortunately, some people are not heeding the warnings of NSW SES and are risking their lives by driving through floodwaters," Mr Elliott said.
"In fact, over the last eight months alone, NSW SES has received 500 flood rescue requests from people who have done exactly that.
"You wouldn't run into a bushfire, so we are asking the community to help NSW SES volunteers by never driving, walking or riding through floodwater - it is dangerous.
"You put yourselves, and the people who come and save you, at risk."
Commissioner York said it is important to "know your flood risk" and have an emergency plan in place for what you will do in the event of a flood.
"Don't be scared, be prepared," she said.
"Our dedicated NSW SES volunteers selflessly give up their own time to protect their communities during floods and storms."
- For more storm safety tips and how communities can prepare for storm and flood events, visit ses.nsw.gov.au.