WITH the countdown to storm season underway, NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES) has one question for the Mid North Coast - will you be prepared when it arrives?
The Bureau of Meteorology has advised this storm season - which traditionally runs from October to March each year - is likely to bring similar conditions to what was experienced last season.
NSW SES Commissioner Carlene York said this means we could once again experience severe weather, including heavy rain and riverine and flash flooding.
"During the previous storm season, we experienced major floods right across the state," Commissioner York said.
"In fact, it wasn't long ago our volunteers responded to the major flooding event that overwhelmed communities across the Hawkesbury-Nepean, Hunter and Mid North Coast.
"That event alone saw us respond to more than 14,000 requests for assistance, including more than 1,000 flood rescues.
Kempsey unit commander, Greg Steele, outlined specific things for locals to keep in mind.
"Some of the dangers that come with storm season in region are the risks of flash flooding around drains causeways and creeks, so people should avoid going near them if it's bad weather," Mr Steele said.
"Also with thunder storms, individuals should have consideration with what they do with their animals, thunder and lightning can spook animals, so look to securing them in a yard or a shed so they don't run through fences or go missing."
Commissioner York stressed that preparation is the key to minimise damage.
"The more you can do now to prepare, the less likely you'll end up needing emergency assistance from our volunteers when these weather events hit," Commissioner York said.
"Our website has everything you could possibly need to learn about your risk of floods and the dangers they bring.
"It also highlights the simple, yet effective, things you can do ahead of time.
"From preparing an emergency evacuation kit, making sure your gutters and downpipes are clear, to planning for your animals, you can find all this information and more via ses.nsw.gov.au," she said.
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