The third phase of the “Floods. The Risk is Real” public safety campaign has been launched by the NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES) and Resilience NSW.
This campaign is an initiative of the NSW Government’s Hawkesbury- Nepean Valley Flood Risk Management Strategy and is designed to increase awareness of flood risk and 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.
NSW SES Commissioner Carlene York said current conditions within the region mean communities face an increased chance of flooding. “Storm season is underway, and the Bureau of Meteorology has declared a La Niña, which means we will have a wetter than usual summer,” Commissioner York said.
“We also have near-full dams and wetter catchments in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley, which means the region is at a very high risk of experiencing floods. The area has flooded before and will flood again. We need people to start thinking that it is not a case of ‘if’, but ‘when’ floods will happen,” Commissioner York said.
Resilience NSW Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said the risk of flood this season is very real for people in the Hawkesbury Nepean Valley.
“NSW emergency services do an incredible job of keeping individuals and communities safe, but they can only do so much. Being aware and prepared is everyone’s responsibility, whether you’re at home, at work or away on holidays,” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.
“Due to the increased risk of flooding in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley over the summer season, Resilience NSW has employed a dedicated officer to help Blacktown, Central Coast, Hawkesbury, Hornsby, Liverpool, Penrith, The Hills and Wollondilly councils and local communities to focus on preparedness and resilience.”
The campaign is supported by an interactive flood mapping tool and a suite of resources about local flooding risks across the floodplain. The campaign video which features local NSW SES volunteers can be viewed here.
Residents and workers in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley can check their flood risk at myfloodrisk.nsw.gov.au.
For more information about the Flood Strategy for the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley, visit www.insw.com/flood-strategy