By BEV JORDAN
Residents are being urged to Get Prepared as part of the Australian Red Cross Emergency Ready Week, asking them to review or create an emergency RediPlan.
The call from Resilient Sydney follows Get Ready weekend by NSW Rural Fire Service last weekend which was telling people the steps to take to be prepared for bushfires.
The SES is also warning residents that October is the start of stormy weather when incidents peak.
The NRMA has released figures from its Wild Weather Tracker that shows that in the 12 months leading up to August 2021, Castle Hill was the third most impacted suburb for storms behind Port Macquarie and Wauchope.
On a regional basis, North West Sydney and the Hills District were third and fourth on the list. The figures were crunched by looking at claims made to NRMA Insurance.
Last Storm Season, NSW SES responded to more than 37,000 requests for assistance, including more than 1,000 requests for flood rescue. Requests for help with fallen trees and roof damage are among the most common requests the service receives. Australian Red Cross Emergency
The SES says simple things like cleaning your gutters, downpipes and drains and removing blockages, trimming trees and branches that could fall, fixing holes in your roof and having an emergency kit can all go a long way to helping you be prepared for this Storm Season. Australian Red Cross Emergency
Beck Dawson, Chief Resilience Officer of Resilient Sydney, said that after weeks of Lockdown Sydneysiders understand it’s important to know what to do when things go wrong.
“We can’t stop disasters from happening, but by being prepared we can reduce how much they affect us,” Ms Dawson said. “A recent survey by the Australian Red Cross revealed that almost 50% of Australians say their most important takeaway from the pandemic is the importance of being prepared. Knowing where to start can be a daunting process, which is why, during Emergency Ready Week, we are urging Sydneysiders to take some simple steps to get prepared.”
The Call has been backed by local councils.
1. REVIEW THE RISKS RELEVANT TO YOU
The risks faced by a family who lives on the edge of a national park will be very different to those faced by someone living in an urban apartment block. While planning for potential problems, consider what may impact your immediate environment and any initial steps you can take to get prepared.
2. ESTABLISH A NETWORK OF SUPPORT
A recent Australian Red Cross survey found most Australians say those bonds helped them though the pandemic. To establish a network of support, try to identify and write down the details of three key contacts who could help in a time of crisis.
3. CREATE AND SHARE AN EMERGENCY HOUSEHOLD PLAN
An emergency RediPlan for your household should identify all members of your household, including pets. It makes note of essential information, like ongoing medical issues and also lists important contact numbers for your household, for example, gas and electricity companies.
4. DOWNLOAD THE EMERGENCY SURVIVAL CHECKLIST AND GET YOUR KIT TOGETHER.
The Emergency Survival Checklist provides you with a step by step list of necessary household items, like a first aid kit, lights and copies of important documents. Assembling your survival kit doesn’t have to be a chore. It can be turned into a fun family activity and any kids in the home can help.
5. DOWNLOAD THE GET PREPARED APP
The Australian Red Cross Get Prepared app is a free, one-stop tool to help you prepare for any type of emergency and will let you establish and save your network of support, review potential risks and create your emergency plans all in one place. Australian Red Cross Emergency
Hills Shire Mayor, Dr Michelle Byrne said the app is the perfect tool for residents to use to prepare for potential disasters, including the upcoming storm and bushfire seasons. Australian Red Cross Emergency
“Our emergency services in The Hills do an amazing job of keeping us safe, but we can make their jobs easier by being aware of potential dangers and being prepared,” Mayor Byrne said. “The Get Prepared app is a great way to do this as it streamlines the often stressful process of putting together an emergency plan. “
Being prepared is the key to resilience, Hawkesbury Mayor, Councillor Patrick Conolly said. “I hope that our community members will share this message about getting prepared.” Australian Red Cross Emergency
The free Get Prepared app, co-created by Australian Red Cross and general insurer IAG, can be downloaded at both councils’ websites: getprepared.app.link/The_Hills_Council and getprepared.app.link/Hawkesbury_City_Council
Hawkesbury City Council is also urging residents to Bookmark the Hawkesbury Disaster and Emergency Dashboard which provides updates on road conditions, weather warnings, fire incidents, power outages, flood alerts, bushfire alerts and school closures. Australian Red Cross Emergency
BUSHFIRES: To find out more about preparing your home and property for bushfire, visit rfs.nsw.gov.au/news-and-media/getready and develop a fire plan via this link myfireplan.com.au
FLOODS: Check your flood risk and find out how to prepare for future floods at myfloodrisk.nsw.gov.au. Find out about preparing for other hazards at resilience.nsw.gov.au/prepare.html
STORMS: For more information on getting ready for this year’s storm season go to https://www.ses.nsw.gov.au/getinvolved/get-ready-nsw/