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Flood Emergency Management

The State Emergency Service (SES) is the main agency for flood, storm and tsunami events in NSW. The SES provides advice on how to prepare, respond and recover during a flood. More information on to do before, during and after flooding can be found at the SES website.

For emergency assistance during a flood or storm call NSW SES on 132 500 or 000.

Before a flood:

Take action and prepare for a flood to minimise potential risk to life and damage to your property. The SES recommends the following FloodSafe 8 tips:

  1. Know your risk
  2. Know where to go
  3. Know who to call
  4. Know your plan
  5. Get your kit together
  6. Prepare to act early
  7. Check your insurance
  8. Listen to local radio

Do you know if your home, school or workplace are in flood prone areas? If one of these locations is near a creek, river, major storm water drain or it is near a low-lying area, you may be at risk from floods.

Have a look at the Port Stephens Council Flood Hazard maps

Apply for a Flood Certificate

Stay up to date with all official warnings and natural warning signs of flooding.

A flood watch is issued by the Bureau of Meteorology if flood producing rain is expected to happen in the near future and flooding is expected to be above Minor level. A flood watch covers a river basin or catchment. The general weather forecasts can also refer to flood producing rain. You should be prepared to act should flooding occur.

A flood warning is issued by the Bureau of Meteorology when flooding is expected to occur or is happening. Flood Warnings provide a predicted flood level and time at which a river will reach that level. Flood warnings are issue in relation to flood gauges which are situated at a certain point on a river. Flood warnings may contain observed, peak or predicted river heights.

SES flood bulletins provide information on likely flood consequences and what actions are required to protect yourself and your property.

When flooding is likely to cut evacuation routes or inundate property, the SES issues an evacuation warning to indicate that you should get prepared to evacuate. Being prepared will allow you to respond quickly if n evacuation order is issue.

It is important to also be aware yourself of natural signs of flooding including heavy rainfall and rushing or pooling water. Be prepared if flooding occurs.

Create your home or business emergency plan now and be prepared.

Planning now so that you know your risks and what to do if there is a flood can save your life, the life of your family and the damage to your property.

Council's role is to investigate the risk of flooding and to prepare for future floods. Council does this through land use planning, development control and flood mitigation works. Although we cannot predict exactly when, where or how bit the next flood will be, we can estimate the likelihood of different sizes of floods and their consequences so we can plan ahead.

What Council is doing to reduce flood risk

Council is constantly working on updating and improving our understanding on flood risk within the Port Stephens area through the NSW Government's Floodplain Management Program.

During a flood:

Floods can affect rural property owners in a number of different ways including losses to livestock, crops, fencing, buildings, personal items, farm equipment and machinery.

The NSW SES has developed a Rural Properties FloodSafe Guide for information and advice on floods in rural and remote properties.

During a flood:

  • Never drive, walk or walk through floodwater
  • Remember the safety of your pets and any other animals. You are responsible for their well-being. The NSW Department of Primary Industries may be able to assist you.
  • Keep listening to a local radio station for further information, updates and advice.
  • Keep in contact with your neighbours.
  • Be prepared to evacuate if advised.

If evacuation is required:

Take your emergency kit with you. Turn off the electricity, any gas bottles and the water as you leave.

Where evacuation is necessary and you have livestock, you should notify the NSW Department of Primary Industries with details of:

  • a contact person and contact number
  • the location, type and number of animals
  • your handling facilities
  • availability of food
  • potential problem animals.
  • Never enter flood water
  • Keep listening to your local radio station for information, updates and advice
  • Keep in contact with your support person and follow your Home FloodSafe Plan
  • Be prepared to evacuate if necessary
  • If able, stack your possessions on benches and tables, lacing electrical items at the top
  • Locate and prepare pets for possible evacuation

In life threatening situations call 000

Call NSW SES on 132 500 if you:

  • are trapped by floodwaters
  • need assistance when floodwater is threatening your property
  • require resupply of essential supplies if your property is isolated.

See the Council Road Closures website page for local roads affected by flooding.

Contact RMS for major road closures.

Contact utility companies for essential services.

The following are the Port Stephens safer places:

Apex ParkCorner of Victoria Parade and Stockton Street, Nelson Bay
Banskia ParkJabiru Drive, Fern Bay
Birubi Beach and Robinson ReserveFitzroy Street, Anna Bay
Birubi Sands ReserveGan Gan Road, Anna Bay
Boat HarbourGraham Street, Boat Harbour
Boyd Oval (tennis courts)7 Grey Gum Street, Medowie
Nelson Bay car park and beachCorner Victoria Parade and Teramby Street, Nelson Bay
Dunmore ReserveBlake Parade, Anna Bay
Ferodale Park (entrance)Intersection of Ferodale Road and Kirrang Drive, Medowie
Fingal BayCnr Boulder Bay Road and Marine Drive, Fingal Bay
Foreshore car parkVictoria Parade, Nelson Bay
Henderson Park52 Cook Parade, Lemon Tree Passage
Lakeside leisure centre car parkLeisure Way, Raymond Terrace
Mallabula Sports ComplexDStrathmore Street, Mallabula
Memorial ParkMemorial Drive, Karuah
Milton ShowgroundsCroobyar Road, Milton
North Stockton BeachEnd of James Street, Anna Bay
Old Wharf ParkCorner of Lemon Tree Passage and Rookes Road, Salt Ash
Oyster Cove63 Frederick Drive, Oyster Cove
Salt AshCecilia Close, Salt Ash
Shoal Bay BeachIntersection of Shoal Bay Road and Government Road, Shoal Bay
Spencer ParkCorner of Mitchell Avenue and Soldiers Point Road, Soldiers Point
Wests Nelson Bay Diggers ClubShoal Bay Road, Nelson Bay

Creating or discussing your emergency plan can help you remain safe during a flood. A good emergency plan should:

  • outline key heights that will mean your property and local roads will be effected by flooding
  • identify key triggers for action
  • identify what you need to do to protect your property from flooding
  • key contacts
  • identify routes to reach your safe place.

Stay up to date with official warnings and what they mean. NSW SES flood bulletins provide information on likely flood consequences and what actions are required to protect yourself and your property.

The road closures page will identify what roads are affected in the Port Stephens area during a flood.

For further information on road closures and traffic updates see Live Traffic NSW

For further weather updates and flood warnings see Bureau of Meteorology

The NSW SES is the lead emergency management agency during a flood.

Council's role during a flood is to assist emergency management departments such as the SES, Rural Fire Service and the NSW Police.

After a flood:

The NSW SES will issue an 'all clear' when it is safe to return to a flood affected area.  Be aware of how the SES advises you that it is safe to return to a disaster affected area and some of the risks that often remain.

When returning home after a flood:

  • ensure the structural stability of your property
  • make sure the gas and electricity is turned off before going inside
  • if power points, electrical equipment or appliances have been exposed to floodwater, a qualified electrician must inspect these
  • wear suitable protective clothing, including gloves and boots, when cleaning up
  • be aware of any slip or trip hazards

Disaster Recovery Centres may be established following some disasters. .

Recovery centres may provide a range of welfare services including financial assistance, personal support, organising temporary accommodation and providing information and referrals.

If you have been affected by floods and require assistance, contact Disaster Welfare Service on 1800 018 444

There are a number of risks following a flood that you should be aware of when returning to an area previously affected by flooding. Some of these risks include:

  • snakes and spiders
  • structural damage to your home
  • potential contaminants
  • water damaged and electric circuits
  • gas leaks
  • contaminated foods
  • contaminated water supplies
  • contaminated personal items such as toothbrushes
  • materials that could be a risk to your health including asbestos
  • mosquitos carrying disease

The aftermath of a flood is one of the best times to plan for future floods. You know what you need to do and what risks there are to your property.

Take the time to plan, by creating a Home Emergency Plan or an Emergency Business Continuity Plan. These plans are free to create via the NSW SES.

While floods can lead to a greater sense of community spirit, it can also be traumatic experiences for some people. It is important to look out for one another:

  • check on our neighbours, friends and family and see if you are able to assist in any way
  • volunteer to help out in your local community
  • donations can assist disaster affected communities, but make sure it is a legitimate charity.

Council leads the clean-up tasks after a flood event and coordinates repairs to public assets such as roads, parks, drainage and trees.

More information on Council's role in Flood Management, and the role of other agencies, can be found in the Port Stephens Flood Emergency Sub Plan.

Key contacts:

  • In life threatening situations call 000
  • NSW SES: 132 500
  • If you are deaf or have a speech impairment contact the National Relay Service
  • For live updates across the Port Stephens area tune into 1233 ABC radio station