Having faced bushfires, floods, storms, the current pandemic, heatwaves, power blackouts and other emergencies, the Hawkesbury community knows that emergencies can strike at anytime, anywhere and without warning.
Hawkesbury Council is encouraging members of the community to get prepared with Emergency Ready Week - Monday, September 20 - Sunday, September 27 - and make it much easier to protect themselves, the people and animals they love, and the things they value most.
Use the Australian Red Cross resources at redcross.org.au/prepare to:
- Create an emergency plan - make an emergency plan for your household to protect what matters most
- Download the Get Prepared App - build and keep your emergency plan close to hand with the app; and,
- Use a survival kit checklist - build your survival kit with the Red Cross handy emergency checklist.
Hawkesbury Mayor, Patrick Conolly said being prepared is the key to resilience.
"I hope that our community members will share this message about getting prepared," he said.
"Let your friends and family know how simple it is to start getting prepared for emergencies, and tell them about the Get Prepared App."
Download the free Red Cross Get Prepared App at getprepared.app.link/Hawkesbury_City_Council.
Bookmark the Hawkesbury Disaster and Emergency Dashboard at disaster.hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au or go to Council's website hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au and click on the Emergencies tab.
The dashboard provides updates on road conditions, weather warnings, fire incidents, power outages, flood alerts, bush fire alerts and school closures.
Some of the ways Hawkesbury residents can prepare for emergency are below.
Get ready for summer in five simple steps:
- Know your risk - think about the area you're in and the types of disasters that could affect you;
- Plan now - 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.
Remember your pets.
See 10 top tips from the RSPCA NSW to help keep pets cool https://bit.ly/2QzoOR2.
The annual Get Ready weekend was recently held across NSW by the NSW Rural Fire Service. To find out more about preparing a home and property for bushfire, visit rfs.nsw.gov.au/news-and-media/getready and to develop a fire plan visit myfireplan.com.au.
High flood risk
The Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley is a high flood risk region. With near full dams and wetter catchments, there is a higher risk of flooding with each rain event.
Check flood risk and find out how to prepare for future floods at myfloodrisk.nsw.gov.au. Find out about preparing for other hazards resilience.nsw.gov.au/prepare.html.
Preparing now can help reduce damage caused by severe storms. For simple things to do to prepare a home visit ses.nsw.gov.au/storm-resources/before-a-storm/prepare-your-home
Along with preparing for bushfires and floods, the Hawkesbury is subject to extreme heat, which can pose a serious risk to health and wellbeing. It is important to prepare well ahead of a heatwave.
During heatwaves everyone is at risk of heat-related illness, however, some people are at higher risk. See the tips from NSW Health on how to stay safe during the extreme heat conditions https://bit.ly/36DfiBN
To help stay cool, install curtains or blinds to block out sun and heat when needed; shade windows, especially west-facing windows, with a tree or with blockout screens; check that fans and air-conditioners are working.
Council also has an extreme heat policy for its facilities during heatwaves; COVID-Safe procedures apply and subject to facilities being open.
See the Bureau of Meteorology's Heatwave Service map for heatwave predictions at bom.gov.au/australia/heatwave
Help the local wildlife on extreme heat days by placing water containers in the shade for them.
For information from WIRES on how to identify and help heat stressed wildlife visit wires.org.au/blog/heat-stressed-wildlife-1
See COVID-19 updates for Hawkesbury residents on Council's website hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au (click on the green banner at the top of the homepage) and NSW health updates and advice at nsw.gov.au/covid-19