A campaign targeting residents of the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley to prepare them for flood has won the national Emergency Media and Public Affairs award.
Infrastructure NSW, Resilience NSW and NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES) jointly won the award - in the EMPA Awards for Excellence in Emergency Communication program - for 'Excellence in Readiness & Resilience' for the 'Floods. What's your plan?' campaign.
The campaign ran from October to December 2021 and encouraged community members to know the early signs of potential flooding and have a plan in place to respond.
The campaign used channels including social media, radio and print advertising to get the message out.
Due to its unique landscape and large existing population, the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley has the highest unmitigated flood risk exposure in Australia.
Floodwaters in the valley can be extensive and deeper than other floodplains in Australia, and have a significant impact on lives, livelihoods, homes and critical infrastructure.
NSW SES Commissioner Carlene York said it is important for residents in the floodplain to be prepared to evacuate safely.
"The objective of the campaign was to normalise preparation and make the key steps accessible showing people and explaining the benefits of preparation, and easy steps to take," Commissioner York said.
She said it was timely the campaign was delivered before the most recent flood event, in March 2022.
"Due to the Bureau of Meteorology's long-range weather forecast and the La Nina weather pattern, along with Sydney's reservoirs at near-full capacity, we knew there was an increased risk of flooding for Spring/Summer 2021-22," Commissioner York said.