Be Aware

Know the official Bureau of Meteorology flood warning products

  • Flood Watch is issued by the Bureau of Meteorology and provides a 'heads up' that flooding is likely.
  • Flood Warning is issued by the Bureau of Meteorology and warns a community of flooding at a predicted height, time and location.

Know the official NSW SES flood warning products

The NSW SES issues community specific warnings once a Flood Watch or Flood Warning product is published by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. NSW SES flood warnings include:

  • Details of the predicted flood height, based on Bureau of Meteorology forecasts
  • Estimated time and location of predicted flooding, based on Bureau of Meteorology forecasts
  • Expected flood risks, impacts and consequences to the community
  • The safest actions for people to take to protect themselves, their family, and their property

Leading up to and during a flood, NSW SES issues the following official warnings:

  • Stay Informed - Advice warns a community that flooding has started and provides information on likely flood consequences and what actions people should take to protect themselves and their property.
  • Do Not Enter Floodwater - Watch and Act warns that a flood situation is becoming more serious and instructs people not to drive, walk, ride, play or swim in floodwater - it is dangerous, toxic, and may void car insurance.
  • Prepare to Isolate - Watch and Act warns people that they are likely to become isolated by rising floodwater and that they should stock up on essential items before roads and evacuation routes close.
  • Prepare to Evacuate - Watch and Act warns people that they need to prepare to evacuate so they can act quickly if evacuation is necessary. Flooding is likely to cut evacuation routes and potentially inundate property. This warning advises the safest actions for the community to take in a flood emergency.
  • Evacuate Now/Before - Emergency Warning warns that lives and properties are at-risk due to dangerous flooding, and that people need to evacuate an area immediately or when instructed by emergency services. Flooding is likely to cut evacuation routes and inundate property. This warning advises people what to do if instructed to evacuate and where to go.
  • Shelter Now - Emergency Warning warns people that it is too late to leave a flooded area safely as evacuation routes are likely to be cut off. People should instead seek shelter inside a sturdy raised structure or building that can be safely accessed and call for help if needed.
  • Move to Higher Ground - Emergency Warning warns people that rising floodwater is making it unsafe to evacuate an area. People in the impacted area should move away from floodwater, as high above ground as possible and call for help if needed.
  • Avoid the Area - Watch and Act warns people that a specific area is unsafe due to dangerous flooding and should be avoided until further notice.
  • Reduced Threat: Return with Caution - Advice advises evacuated communities that they should take care when returning to flood impacted areas as damage can be widespread and dangerous. People must be cautious and ensure their property is safe before re-entering.
  • Monitor Conditions - Advice advises people that the flood threat has eased but they must remain vigilant and consider potential hazards like damage to roads, bridges and infrastructure.

View All Current NSW SES Warnings

Monitor your flood situation

You may not always receive an official warning before floods begin to impact you, therefore it is important to be aware of the flood situation in your local area.

Monitor the local situation by personally witnessing the height and rate at which floodwaters are rising; maintain contact with other people in your local community and listen to your local radio stations to receive and share updates on the flood situation.

Monitor the likelihood of flash flooding

Severe Weather Warnings and Severe Thunderstorm Warnings issued by the Bureau of Meteorology warn of the possibility of flash flooding. 

When flash flooding is likely, it is best to evacuate low-lying homes and businesses well before flash flooding begins, but only if it is safe to do so. If you are trapped by rising floodwater, seek refuge in the highest part of a sturdy building. Stay there and call '000' (triple zero) if you need rescue.


Look out for each other when flooding is imminent


Menai marketplace
Community education and awareness
Community education and awareness Saturday 04/02/2023 10:00 AM to 04/02/2023 04:00 PM
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