Over the last week and a half, The Hills SES Unit has completed over 500 Request for assistance and in the first 7months this year our unit responded to approximately 1,200 Request for assistance.
Most of the incidents we attended to locally were for leaking and damaged roofs, fallen trees and flooding threatening houses, as well as many requests for sandbags which residents were able to collect themselves from our headquarters in Baulkham Hills and in pop-up sand collection points at the Glenorie RFS and Box Hill Nelson RFS.
We also have our floodboat crews assisting with the resupply of residents and communities isolated by floodwaters and assisting with flood rescues throughout the Metropolitan area.
Our members volunteer their time to assist the community during times of need, and we have had teams out working throughout the day and into the early hours of the morning when needed. Unfortunately, the flooding in Sydney and NSW is not over yet and it will be a long process to clean up after the impact of these floods and to help the community through the recovery effort.
This event has shown how our emergency services, volunteer associations, and Defence Force can work collaboratively to serve the community. We would like to thank everyone for their support and patience throughout the event.
In such event, there is a lot happening from people responding to jobs and the people in the background in our Incident Management Team.
While these rainfalls over the past couple of weeks have been extremely heavy, when there is a break in the weather and if you can safely do so, there are some simple things you can do now to prepare your home. This includes trimming trees and overhanging branches, cleaning gutters and downpipes and securing loose items around the yard or balcony. Looking to the future and preparing for what could happen:
The Hawkesbury-Nepean river flooded before and it’s important to always be prepared for floods in the Valley – floods can happen anytime.
If you live in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley, or even in nearby suburbs, you might be affected by flooding the valley. Flood impacts can extend well beyond the streets and houses where floodwaters reach.
Even if your house or workplace might not be flooded, they could become isolated as other suburbs and streets flood around you. Significant floods can disrupt roads, rail lines, infrastructure, and essential services such as electricity, sewerage and water. A large flood will have a significant impact on everyday life within the region.
As we have seen with this year’s floods – A significant flood in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley will cause damage to people’s homes. It will also cause major disruptions to essential services such as water, electricity, gas, roads and rail lines.
By the time you know a flood might impact your property, there may be very little time before you have to leave. A key step to getting ready for floods (or for any other natural hazard) is to prepare a Get Ready to Go kit.
• The kit should contain what you will need during and immediately after evacuation, whether you are going to family and friends, or to an evacuation centre.
• Some key items to include in your kit are a battery-powered radio which will be handy if the power and internet goes out, a torch and batteries, waterproof bag and some personal hygiene items.
Maintaining and storing your kit
• Your kit should be kept in a waterproof storage container and stored in a safe place that is easy to access.
• On a regular basis, check your Get Ready to Go kit (remember to check use-by dates on batteries and medications) and restock items if you need to.
• Also, keep a list of emergency numbers near your phone or on your fridge.