Are you prepared for the coming bushfire season?
It's a question Hawkesbury Council wants all residents to ask themselves, in the lead up to NSW Rural Fire Service's Get Ready Weekend, September 19 and 20.
The aim is to start a broader conversation about being aware and prepared, according to Hawkesbury Mayor, Councillor Barry Calvert.
"The 2019/20 bushfire season was the most devastating bushfire season in our state's history," he said. "It was a stark reminder of the danger of fire. It was also a reminder of the importance of being prepared and having a plan.
"In the lead up to our next fire season - with the previous one in the not so distant past and the impacts still being felt across NSW - communities are understandably keen to know more about getting ready."
Commissioner of Resilience NSW, Shane Fitzsimmons said bushfires weren't the only emergency communities should keep in mind.
"Each year, communities across NSW may experience bushfires, home fires, floods, storms, heatwaves, power outages and other emergencies," he said.
"This year alone has been one of unparalleled emergencies. Communities across NSW were first impacted by drought, bushfire, then storm and flood, now pandemic - and all in quick succession. This has highlighted how important it is to be prepared for all hazards. Our emergency service organisations do an incredible job keeping us safe, but they can only do so much. Being aware and prepared is everyone's responsibility."
The following five steps have been recommended as a basis for being emergency prepared:
- Know your risk - think about the area you're in and the types of disasters that could affect you.
- Plan now for what you will do - sit down and talk with your family and plan for what you will do if a disaster affects your area.
- Get your home ready - prepare your home by doing general home maintenance and checking your insurance coverage.
- Be aware - find out how to prepare, what to do if there is a disaster in your area and connect with NSW emergency services to stay informed.
- Look out for each other - share information with your family, friends, neighbours and those who may need assistance.
Local rural fire service brigades will offer a number of ways to participate in Get Ready Weekend. Visit rfs.nsw.gov.au/news-and-media/getready for details.