The Australian Warning System is a nationally consistent, three-tiered approach which gives residents clearer advice and warnings in the lead up to severe weather events.
The three levels are Advice (yellow), Watch and Act (orange) and Emergency Warning (red). NSW SES Commissioner Carlene York said the new approach will better support communities by providing greater clarity.
“Early warnings save lives. Our new warnings will contain very clear action statements to enable the community to make safe decisions,” she said.
“If you live in a community that has received flood warnings in the past, it is important to learn how the NSW SES warnings are changing, and prepare for what action you will take when a future disaster strikes.”
ADVICE ‘Stay Informed’: an incident has started. Stay up to date in case the situation changes.
WATCH AND ACT ‘Prepare to evacuate’: conditions are changing and you need to start taking action now to protect you and your family.
EMERGENCY WARNING ‘Move to higher ground’: the highest level of warning. You may be in danger and need to take action immediately.
Impacted communities will continue to receive flood warnings through the NSW SES website, NSW SES social media channels and by listening to local ABC radio stations. The NSW SES experienced its busiest year yet, responding to over 50,000 flood and storm related jobs.
Hills unit Commander Daniel McGovern said: “It’s been an extraordinarily wet year … unfortunately, this coming storm season is not going to be any different. A third La Niña event has been confirmed, which means it is quite likely the east coast of NSW will experience a wetter than average season.
“Already saturated catchments mean any additional heavy rainfall could result in renewed riverine and flash flood risks.”
Hawkesbury City Mayor Sarah McMahon urged residents to familiarise themselves with the warning system.
“Living with the risk of floods is sadly a way of life in the Hawkesbury, but there are simple ways to ensure we are prepared and stay safe in an emergency,” she said. “Make sure your family has an emergency evacuation plan, and that you are all familiar with it. And keep a careful eye on warnings from NSW SES and follow their advice.”
Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery, Steph Cooke said: “I understand news of more rain on the way is sobering to hear, that’s why as we enter storm season, I call on communities to make sure they are aware of their risks and prepare early.”
She said preparing an emergency evacuation kit and making safe decisions including not driving through flooded roads and leaving your property when requested to, are simple ways to stay safe.
For information on the new warning system and emergency preparedness, visit www.ses.nsw.gov.au If you need SES help call 132 500.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]