Look out for each other
Look out for your neighbours, friends and family
- Work with your neighbours to identify any hazards on your properties that could cause damage in a storm, this may include overhanging trees or items that could blow around and cause damage
- Share your plan with friends and family to ensure everyone is on the same page
- Ensure you keep people's contact details handy in case you need to contact them in a storm, they may be able to help you out with something if you're not home for some reason
Home and family
The NSW SES is the lead response agency for storms in NSW with the responsibility to ensure that communities across NSW are aware of, informed about and prepared for storm events. This can help reduce the impacts of storms on homes and families.
Assisting families and households to be prepared for storms can reduce the loss, damages and costs associated with them. When households and families respond better to storms by being prepared, their recovery can be quicker and their resilience to future storms will be greater.
All areas of NSW can experience major storms and there have been avoidable deaths during storms. The protection of life is the highest priority for the NSW SES during a storm.
It is important to be prepared now so that you will know what to do when there is a storm.
Making an emergency plan and putting together an emergency kit can help your home and family prepare for, respond to and recover from storms.
Keep your yard tidy and clear of clutter. Remember, some items can become dangerous missiles in high winds that come with some storms.
Children can play a very important role in helping families, schools and friends be aware of, prepared for and respond better to storms.
One of the ways children can do this is by being a StormSafe Kid.
Paddy Platypus is a huge fan of StormSafe Kids and knows that he can rely on them to help the NSW SES make sure all kids are safe during storms.
Being a StormSafe kid means that you help your family and friends become StormSafe and pledge to look out for yourself, your family and your friends before, during and after storms. This includes:
- Helping my family, friends and neighbours plan for storms
- Helping my family maintain my yard or balcony
- Helping put together an emergency kit for my home and school and updating the batteries every year
- Following all instructions given to me by my parents, the NSW SES and other emergency services during storms
- Never playing in floodwater including storm water; and
- Helping my friends become StormSafe Kids too.
What do I need to know to become a StormSafe Kid?
Being a StormSafe Kid means knowing what to do before, during and after storms. Here are some StormSafe Fact Sheets and the NSW SES 8 StormSafe Tips postcard to get you on your way with some simple things you can do before, during and after storms:
StormSafe Kids get their kit together
Being a StormSafe Kid is also about helping your family and class at school put together an emergency kit. An emergency kit is useful if you need to leave your house or classroom because of storms. Putting together an emergency kit with your family and class mates can be a great way to make sure you are ready for any emergency.
Find out what goes into an Emergency Kit
- Keep your emergency kit in a waterproof storage container
- Check your emergency kit on a regular basis (remember to check use-by dates on batteries and gloves) and restock items if you need to
- Also, keep a list of emergency numbers near your phone or on your fridge.
Never play in floodwater
During and after storms we often see images on the news and in newspapers of children playing in floodwater and storm water. This is very dangerous and some children have lost their lives by playing in floodwater caused by storms.
Floodwater can be deeper and flow faster than it looks on the surface. It can also cover drains and erode surfaces that you cannot see. Sometimes water can suddenly move through hidden drains and pipes. There can also be snags and other things in floodwater which can trap you underwater. Floodwater can also contain waste, poisons, dead animals, garbage and sewage. It is not a nice place to play.
Swimming, riding boogie boards, riding through and jumping into floodwater can be very dangerous.
This is why a StormSafe kid would NEVER play in floodwater or storm water and would also look out for their friends to make sure they were safe as well.
Being a StormSafe Kid means you are looking out for your friends as well and helping them become StormSafe Kids with you. The most important thing here is making sure your friends are safe during storms by telling them the dangers of playing in floodwater.
Rewards for being a StormSafe Kid
Being a StormSafe Kid is having responsibility to make sure you, your family, your class mates and your friends always look after each other when there is a storm. It is also about helping to plan for storms and helping to recover after them.
This is a big responsibility
To thank you for being a StormSafe Kid, the NSW SES has wrist bands and certificates for kids who are StormSafe. These are available from the NSW SES at community events or by contacting the NSW SES State Headquarters.
Preparing for storms
Storms can happen anywhere, at any time of the year. It is important to be prepared. For more information on storms, visit the Are you at risk, Storm types and Storm hazards pages. People living in our communities who are senior have a wealth of knowledge, information and networks at their disposal when it comes to planning for, responding to and recovering from storms. Talk to the people who have lived in your area for a long time about the history and impacts of storms locally. You can gain valuable information from people who have experienced these events in the past. Sometimes though, the elderly need assistance as well.
All the information on preparing for, responding to and recovering from storms is relevant to elderly people. The only difference is sometimes they may need some further assistance from family, friends, neighbours and carers.8 StormSafe tips that can help you prepare for storms. One important item to prepare is your emergency kit.
- Identify your own capabilities and any support or assistance you may need
- Identify and speak with relatives, neighbours or friends that can help provide support during a storm
- Identify a support person
- Prepare a Home Emergency Plan with your support person
- Give your support person a copy of your Home Emergency Plan
- Speak with your care or service provider
- Prepare an emergency kit
- A list of your support persons and their contact details
- Contact numbers for your care provider and doctor
- Instructions on how to turn off your electricity and gas
- A list of what is in your emergency kit and where it is located
- A list of locations for friends, relatives and neighbours that you can go to
- Your evacuation plans if you are required to leave your home
- A list of items that need to be raised if flooding occurs
- A list of dangerous or hazardous items around your house
- Instructions on how care will be provided to your pets
- Information on where to find the latest weather forecast, Severe Weather Warnings and Severe Thunderstorm Warnings
- A description of any medical issues or disability
- A list of any essential medications or equipment and instructions for their use
- The location of disability related supplies and any special equipment you require
Pets and animals
Pets are an important part of the family.
It is important to consider your pets when planning for storms including:
- Pet safety during storms
- What you will do with pets if you are required to evacuate or leave your property including moving pets safely
Include in your Home Emergency Plan what you will do with your pets before, during and after storms. Your pets are reliant on you during storms and can be scared by lightning, thunder and heavy rain. It is suggested that where possible, owners consider bringing pets inside before a storm to prevent them running away.
The NSW SES has developed a StormSafe Pets Fact Sheet for more information on looking after your pets during storms.
It is also important to remember any animals you may own but which are kept on other properties. Horses are usually kept like this. These kinds of animals are called agisted animals.
Many properties where agisted animals are kept can be affected by storms. If there is the likelihood of storms, it is important to make sure your agisted animals are safe. Talk to the property owner about the local risks and about their plans for when there may be storms. Add these plans to your own Home Emergency Plan. Monitor the weather conditions near where your animals are agisted and put your Emergency Plan into action if there is the likelihood of storms where you keep your agisted animals.
Learn more on how your animals can stay safe before, during and after storms. Pets and Animals