Flooding on road

With the commencement of the official bushfire and storm season, Central Coast Council is once again urging the local community to start preparing for future events,and assess their own personal risk of storm, flood, bushfire and other emergencies.

The Council recommends five steps the community can take to prepare for emergency events and severe weather:

  • Know the risk – it’s important to think about the area, circumstances and types of disasters that could affect the community. Council has tools and links to a number of resources to help community members identify risks
  • Plan now for what to do ensure there is a current emergency plan in place which considers risks, abilities and resources, plus an emergency evacuation kit ready to go
  • Get homes or business premises ready – prepare properties to best withstand emergency events, with general maintenance and checks, and ensure they are adequately insured
  • Be aware and keep informed – find out in advance where to find critical information in the lead up to, or during, an emergency event
  • Look out for each other – don’t wait for an emergency to build community networks with neighbours. Get to know each other now, share emergency plans with neighbours, friends and family and identify community strengths and weaknesses to be able to plan for them in advance

Central Coast Council is part of Get Ready – a community preparedness program coordinated by Resilience NSW, providing targeted information, resources and support to help local communities build resilience and prepare for disasters.

Another resource available to the community is the Central Coast Disaster Dashboard – an online platform providing emergency information and news from various agencies and authorities during a natural disaster, with interactive maps, real-time alerts, and local information about weather, marine conditions and warnings.

The helpful information and resources covering  bushfire and flood incidents, rain and water levels, power and network outages, road impacts, dam levels and water supply can also aid in the planning of and recovery from natural disasters and severe weather events. 

Central Coast Council Director of Environment and Planning, Doctor Alice Howe, said the Central Coast is no stranger to emergency events and extreme weather.

“We have experienced a wide range of emergency events in recent years – from severe bushfires, storms, coastal erosion, repeated heavy rainfall and flooding, in addition to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dr Howe said.

“We know that severe weather and other emergency events will continue to be a part of our lives on the Central Coast, especially as we continue to experience La Niña climate conditions which can bring above average rainfall, severe and frequent storms, and a hot, humid summer season. 

“Now is the time to understand your current risks and create an up-to-date plan for natural emergency events and severe weather.”

Central Coast Council Acting Director of Community Services, Glenn Cannard, said now is the time for the community to prepare. 

“Please don’t wait for a disaster to happen before you think about what you need to do, or how you are going to protect your home and belongings,” Mr Cannard said.  

“Being prepared for emergencies can save lives and property, and helps our community to recover more quickly from emergency events when they do occur.

“We all share the responsibility of being informed and aware of our risks, and to check that we are adequately prepared to respond to emergencies.”

Central Coast Council joined multiple agencies in September 2022, in efforts to continue to improve its response and readiness of future natural disaster events.

Council Administrator, Rik Hart, said that although Council is not the main authority in emergencies, it will continue to work alongside and support lead emergency agencies to raise awareness and share resources to help the local community prepare for emergency and severe weather events.

“Council has a holistic approach to management of emergency events which encompasses the full circle of emergency management planning, preparedness, response and recovery – all of which are constantly being improved upon to incorporate new learnings from each event and shared knowledge from a range of key stakeholders,” Mr Hart said.

“I encourage all the Central Coast community, including residents and businesses, to take the time this month to ‘Get Ready’ for emergency events and boost our defence as a resilient community.”

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