The official bushfire and storm season has begun and Central Coast Council is again encouraging our local community to ‘Get Ready’ and understand their risk of storms, floods, bushfires and other emergencies and prepare now for future events.
Council Director of Environment and Planning, Dr Alice Howe said we are no strangers to emergency events and extreme weather on the Central Coast.
“We have experienced a wide range of emergency events in recent years – from severe bushfires, storms, coastal erosion, repeated heavy rainfall and flooding, in addition to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dr Howe said.
“We know that severe weather and other emergency events will continue to be a part of our lives on the Central Coast, especially as we continue to experience La Niña climate conditions which can bring above average rainfall, severe and frequent storms, and a hot, humid summer season. Now is the time to understand your current risks and create an up-to-date plan for natural emergency events and severe weather.”
Council Acting Director of Community Services, Glenn Cannard said as a community, we’ve displayed great strength in working through these challenges together and alongside emergency service organisations – from the response phase through to recovery and circling back again.
“Now is the time to prepare. Please don’t wait for a disaster to happen before you think about what you need to do, or how you are going to protect your home and belongings. Being prepared for emergencies can save lives, property and helps our community to recover more quickly from emergency events when they do occur,” Mr Cannard said.
“We all share the responsibility of being informed and aware of our risks, and to check that we are adequately prepared to respond to emergencies.”
“Regardless of whether a resident has recently moved to the Central Coast or has been in the same house for decades with an existing plan, now is the time to understand current risks and create an up-to-date plan.”
Five steps to prepare for emergency events and severe weather:
- Know your risk – It’s important to think about the area you live in, your circumstances and the types of disasters that could affect you. Council has tools and links to a number of resources to help you identify your risks.
- Plan now for what you will do. Ensure you have a current emergency plan in place which considers your risks, abilities and resources, plus an emergency evacuation kit ready to go.
- Get your home or business premises ready. Prepare your property to best withstand emergency events, with general maintenance and checks, and ensure you are adequately insured.
- Be aware and keep informed. Find out in advance where to find critical information in the lead up to, or during, an emergency event.
- Look out for each other. Don’t wait for an emergency to build community networks with neighbours. Get to know each other now, share your plans with neighbours, friends and family and identify your community strengths and weaknesses to be able to plan for them in advance.
For information and resources on preparing for storms, floods, bushfire, heatwaves and other emergency events, go online to centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/emergencies
Council Administrator, Rik Hart, said the Central Coast’s environmental characteristics of over 128,500 hectares of bushland, 80km of coastline and encasing large lakes and waterways can isolate communities quickly in a severe emergency situation, making preparedness particularly important for the region.
“Council has a holistic approach to management of emergency events which encompasses the full circle of emergency management planning, preparedness, response and recovery – all of which are constantly being improved upon to incorporate new learnings from each event and shared knowledge from a range of key stakeholders,” Mr Hart said.
“Council is not the main authority in emergencies. However, we continue to work alongside and support lead emergency agencies to raise awareness and share resources that will help our local community prepare for emergency and severe weather events.
“I encourage all the Central Coast community, including residents and businesses, to take the time this month to ‘Get Ready’ for emergency events and boost our defence as a resilient community.”
Central Coast Council is part of Get Ready, a community preparedness program coordinated by Resilience NSW.
Get Ready Central Coast! For information and resources on preparing for emergency events, go online to centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/emergencies
- The Central Coast Disaster Dashboard is a central online platform to access vital local emergency information and news from a range of agencies and authorities during a natural disaster. The site features interactive maps with real-time alerts and local information such as weather and marine conditions and warnings, bush fire and flood incidents, rain and water levels, power and network outages, road impacts, dam levels and water supply. There is also helpful information and resources to help plan for, or recover from, natural disasters and severe weather events. https://emergency.centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/dashboard/overview
- Council joined multiple agencies in September to continue to improve our response in readiness of future natural disaster events. For more information and read about Council’s role during an emergency event, go to https://www.centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/council/news/council-joins-multiple-agencies-get-ready-exercise
- For the latest information on the impacts from the recent weather and flood events on the Central Coast, Council’s response and recovery information for impacted communities go to https://www.centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/council/news/significant-weather-event-recovery-july-august-2022
- Sign up for emergency weather alerts: BOM Application
- Sign up for flood and fire alerts: Floods Near Me and Fires Near Me applications