Hills to Hawkesbury Living Magazine - - State Emergency Services -

The NSW SES and NRMA In­sur­ance are en­cour­ag­ing res­i­dents to get ready for the up­com­ing storm sea­son to help re­duce the amount of dam­age caused in se­vere weather.

NSW SES vol­un­teers spent count­less hours re­spond­ing to more than 16,000 storm emer­gency call outs across the state dur­ing the last storm sea­son and there’s con­cern that num­ber could rise with a wet storm sea­son fore­cast.

“Most of the dam­age we saw was from trees crash­ing down on homes and ve­hi­cles as well as leak­ing and dam­aged roofs but much of this dam­age was pre­ventable,” NSW SES Hills Unit Con­troller Eve­lyn Lester said.

“Some sim­ple things you can do now to get ready for the storm sea­son in­clude trim­ming trees, clean­ing gut­ters and down­pipes and se­cur­ing loose items around the yard or bal­cony.

“It’s also vi­tal that peo­ple re­mem­ber to stay out of flood­wa­ter be­cause NSW SES vol­un­teers have al­ready re­sponded to nu­mer­ous flood res­cues this year,” Ms Lester said.

Ear­lier in the year, NRMA In­sur­ance worked with the NSW SES and Univer­sity of New South Wales to con­duct sci­en­tific re­search to prove that driv­ing through flood­wa­ter isn’t safe.

The re­search found that it takes very lit­tle wa­ter to make even a large ve­hi­cle un­sta­ble. Once the wa­ter reaches the floor of the ve­hi­cle, it be­comes very vul­ner­a­ble, and there is enough force to make the ve­hi­cle float away.

“In ad­di­tion to pre­par­ing their homes for storm sea­son, peo­ple need to be aware of the dan­gers of driv­ing through flood­wa­ter,” said Ra­mana James, Head of Shared Value for NRMA In­sur­ance.

“Com­mon sense says that peo­ple shouldn’t drive through flood­wa­ter, yet NSW SES vol­un­teers are in­creas­ingly res­cu­ing peo­ple who have mis­judged flooded roads,” Mr James said.

The of­fi­cial storm sea­son runs from Oc­to­ber to March but storms can hap­pen at any time of the year so it’s im­por­tant peo­ple are al­ways pre­pared for se­vere weather.

More storm safety tips are avail­able at: www. storm­safe. com. au or www. nrma. com. au/ses.

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