Emergencies - Be prepared

Australian Warning System

Graph showing three coloured tiers of emergency levels - Advice (yellow) - Watch and Act (orange) - Emergency Warning (red).

The Australian Warning System is the nation's new approach to disaster warning and management. The new system features a three tiered system; Advice, Watch and Act, Emergency Warning. Each stage comes with clear and concise messaging about what to do in the event of an emergency. To find out more visit australianwarningsystem.com.au

It's important to be prepared in an emergency.

Severe weather can strike at any time and can bring strong winds, heavy rainfall, hail, lightning, flash flooding and dangerous road conditions.

We have put together some information to help you prepare and stay safe.

Tips to get ready

Be and stay informed via these Apps

BOM Weather – Bureau of Meteorology Australia

bom thumbnailAustralia's official weather app. Access localised hourly and 7-day forecasts, radar and warnings from Australia's official weather source, the Bureau of Meteorology.

 get it on Google play button  AppStore Android Snap Send Solve


Emergency app logoIn an emergency, time and location accuracy is critical. This app will help you call Triple Zero (000) quickly and provide your GPS-location details to help emergency services locate you.

get it on Google play button  AppStore Android Snap Send Solve

Live Traffic NSW – Transport NSW

live traffic app logoLive updates and news of incidents and conditions that may affect your travel. You can personalise alerts in the app.


get it on Google play button  AppStore Android Snap Send Solve

Get Prepared - Australian Red Cross

get prepared app logoDevelop and share your emergency plan - This app helps you save and connect with your key contacts, and support people, accomplish simple tasks to make you and your loved ones safer, and create a personalised emergency plan you can share with others.

get it on Google play button  AppStore Android Snap Send Solve

Hazards Near Me NSW

Hazards Near Me app logo: An illustration of the state border shape of New South Wales with a hazard sign (a triangle and exclamation point) superimposed.Helps you stay up to date on hazard-related information and warnings in your area.

get it on Google play button  AppStore Android Snap Send Solve

MyHazards - Insurance Council of Australia

My hazards app logo Available for Android phones only. Find a summary of potential natural disaster risks in your area. Use this information as a guide to then go and seek out more accurate and detailed information.

get it on Google play button  

First aid - Australian Red Cross

First aid app logoA ‘pocket-guide’ to first aid and CPR with instructions, images and videos – to help you handle most common emergencies.

get it on Google play button  AppStore Android Snap Send Solve

ABC Listen App – Australian Broadcasting Company

ABC Listen app logo

This audio streaming app allows you to listen to local programs and emergency broadcasts from any ABC Radio station around Australia.


get it on Google play button  AppStore Android Snap Send Solve

Be and stay informed via web and social 

Some emergency services have websites rather than apps. Don’t forget that you can pin a website to your phone’s home screen for quick access:

  • On an iPhone – select ‘Share’ in your browser, then ‘Add to Home Screen’.
  • On an Andriod – using a Chrome web browser, select ‘Menu’, then ‘Add to Home Screen’.

You can find more information about different hazards at:

NSW State Emergency Service – Storms, floods and tsunami

ses logo

NSW SES Website
NSW SES Facebook
NSW SES Marrickville Unit Facebook
ANSW SES - Ashfield-Leichardt Unit Facebook
NSW SES Twitter

NSW Rural Fire Service – Bushfire and rural fire

Fire near me app logoNSW RFS Website
NSW RFS Facebook
NSW RFS Twitter

Fire and Rescue NSW – Urban fire and rescue service

Fire rescue  app logo

Fire and Rescue Website
Fire and Rescue Facebook
Fire and Rescue Twitter

Australian Red Cross – Emergency and disaster support and assistance

Red cross app logoAustralian Red Cross Website
Australian Red Cross Facebook
Australian Red Cross Twitter

Australian Bureau of Meterology - Weather forecasts, severe weather warnings, observations, floods

bom web thumbBOM Website
BOM Facebook
BOM Twitter


Tune in to your local radio

In an emergency, the local Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) radio station will broadcast emergency warnings, information and updates.

The local emergency station for Metropolitan Sydney is 702 AM.

Your local radio station may also broadcast information specific to your area, including locations to avoid, road closures and evacuation and recovery information.

Power often goes out during storms so make sure you have a battery-operated radio with spare batteries.

Radio - Fringer cat unspalsh

Tie it down

Maintain your balcony and yard.

Secure or put away items that could blow around in strong winds.

Strong winds can pick up even heavy and large items, such as outdoor furniture and trampolines.

Rope - Manuel Sardo unsplash

Clear it out

Clear leaves from your gutters, downpipes and drains regularly to prevent blockages.

Blocked gutters can cause water to flow into the roof cavity.

Blocked drains can cause water to pool and enter your property.


Leaves - Andrew Thornebrooke unsplash

Take the time to trim

Trees and branches falling across the Inner West during storms lead to hundreds of calls for help to the NSW SES Marrickville and Ashfield-Leichhardt Units every year.

Trim trees and branches that could potentially fall on your property, on your home or on the street/foothpath outside. 

Check with your Council about any guidelines or required consent applications. Remember, your safety is important so contact a qualified (and insured) arborist or tree surgeon for advice if necessary.

Remember to park your car away from trees if strong winds and severe storms are predicted.

Check and fix your roof

Fix any damage to your roof, including broken or missing tiles.

Your roof should be checked every year (or after major events such as hailstorms) for signs of damage. Working on a roof can be dangerous so we recommend you contact an expert tradesperson if in doubt.

Have your roof inspected by an expert tradesperson every 5-7 years.

Roof - Adrien Olichon unsplash

Check your insurance

If insurance is available for your property, make sure it is current and suitable to your situation and risk.

Tierra mallorca unsplash

Never ride, drive, walk or play in floodwater

The Inner West is prone to local flash flooding, which can impact property, and key infrastructure, such as sewerage, electricity, roads, public transport and communication systems. Floods are not safe and can kill. Be aware of signs of flooding such as heavy rain and rushing or rising water.

Remember to park away from low lying areas and drains if heavy rainfall is expected.

Understand the risk of flooding to your property and know where to go if your property is affected. You can find out about your local flood risk by visiting Council's webpage on Flooding

Flooding - Chris Gallagher unsplash

Prepare an emergency kit

Prepare an emergency kit in case you lose power or need to leave your home. Put together a kit with:

  • a portable battery powered radio
  • torch
  • spare batteries
  • first aid kit
  • candles
  • waterproof matches
  • important papers
  • emergency plans
  • emergency contact numbers
  • waterproof bag

And don’t forget your pets – make a kit for them too.

Store your kit in an easy-to-access location and check it periodically.

Keep a list of emergency numbers on your phone or nearby.

SES emergency kit

Make a plan

Make a plan for your family that outlines what you would do in an emergency. Pets are part of the family too so make sure you include them in your plan. Share and practice your plan regularly with family, friends and others in your support network.

The NSW SES has an online tool to help you make your home emergency plan

The Red Cross provides a template to write your rediplan 

Plan - Glenn Carstens Peters unsplash

For more information

Find information about:

  • preparing your property against storm damage
  • local risks
  • planning for emergencies
  • how to get involved with the SES

at the SES website

For help in an emergency

For emergency assistance in floods and storms call the NSW State Emergency Service (SES) on 132 500.

If the situation is life threatening, immediately call triple zero (000).

Emergency contacts



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Page last updated: 17 May 2023