A public campaign to promote flood preparedness in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley has been launched by the NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES) and Resilience NSW, in partnership with Infrastructure NSW.
This campaign is an initiative of the NSW Government’s Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley Flood Risk Management Strategy and is designed encourage preparedness amongst people who live in the valley. From social research undertaken in 2018, only 18% of surveyed residents were aware of the high flood risk and 80% had done nothing to prepare for floods.
The current campaign builds upon the success of a previous campaign, ‘Floods. The Risk is Real’ delivered in 2019 and 2020 to build awareness of flood risk in the valley. This awareness campaign increased flood risk awareness as evidenced by the post-campaign evaluation and broader social research in early 2021 which showed:
Running for 8 weeks from 25 October, the ‘Floods. What’s your plan?’ campaign encourages community members to know the early signs of potential flooding and have a plan in place to respond. Tips include subscribing to weather alerts, knowing your local evacuation routes and preparing a ‘get ready to go’ kit with important items.
NSW SES Commissioner Carlene York and Resilience NSW Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons have joined forces to remind locals in the Hawkesbury Nepean Valley that storm season is upon us, a wet summer is forecast and there is increased risk of flooding across NSW, particularly within the region.
Commissioner York said the widespread flooding that impacted the region in March demonstrated not only the potential for devastation, but also the importance of preparing for these events.
“It wasn’t that long ago we saw major flooding sweep through this area, impacting thousands of properties,” Commissioner York said.
“There is the very real risk of a similar event happening again, which is why we need communities to know their risks and have a plan now.
“Floods can happen anytime. While you can’t fight floods, you can certainly prepare for them.”.
Commissioner Fitzsimmons, urged locals to use the start of summer to have a conversation with friends and families about being prepared for emergencies, including floods.
“Our emergency service organisations do an incredible job keeping us safe, but they can only do so much. Being aware and prepared is everyone’s responsibility, whether at home, at work or away on holidays,” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.
For more information about how to prepare, visit www.ses.nsw.gov.au/yourfloodplan
For more information about the Flood Strategy for the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley, visit www.insw.com/flood-strategy