With the storm season approaching, Hawkesbury and the NSW SES together with NRMA Insurance are urging residents to ‘Get Ready’ to help reduce the amount of damage and injury caused in severe weather.
NSW SES volunteers spent countless hours responding to around 20,000 emergency call-outs across the state during the last storm season – that’s up from 16,000 the previous year.
NSW SES Hawkesbury Local Controller Kevin Jones said that in the Hawkesbury area alone, volunteers responded to around 250 storm jobs last season.
“Most of the damage we saw was from trees crashing down on homes and vehicles as well as leaking and damaged roofs,” Mr Jones said.
“Much of this damage was preventable so we’re asking people to prepare their homes and businesses now for the impending storm season.
“Some simple things you can do now to get ready for the storm season include trimming trees, cleaning gutters and downpipes and securing loose items around the yard or balcony.
“It’s also vital that people remember to stay out of floodwater because our volunteers have already responded to numerous flood rescues this year.
Mr Jones said the official storm season runs from October to March but storms can happen at any time of the year so said it was important residents were always prepared for severe weather.
Ramana James, Head of Shared Value for NRMA Insurance, said their data showed that in a typical year around half of all home claims in NSW were due to storm damage and that figure can surge during a particularly severe storm season.
“While half (50 per cent) of all residents in NSW believe they are prepared for a severe storm, our research shows just 18 per cent have an emergency kit and less than a quarter (23 per cent) have an emergency plan in place,” Mr James said.
“Our message to all residents is to take action now to prepare your home and business for storm season. It’s also important to make sure your insurance is up to date, to ensure you are prepared should severe weather strike.”
For emergency help in storms and floods call the NSW SES on 132 500. Dial Triple Zero (000) in life threatening situations. More storm safety tips are available at: www.ses.nsw.gov.au or www.nrma.com.au/ses.