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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 storm. 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 storm:

By taking action and preparing for a storm, you can minimise potential risk to yourself, your family and your property. The following steps are recommended:

  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

Although any property can be affected by storms, some are more prone than others. Do you know if your home, school or workplace is in a storm prone area? If one of these areas is near a creek, river, a low-lying area or a beach, you may be at risk from storms.

  • Get your property safe and ready: check fences, roofs and gutters and make any repairs needed
  • Trim branches near your property and power lines
  • Clean gutters and down pipes and secure loose roof tiles/sheets
  • Check your insurance - is this all up to date?
  • Move cars undercover and away from trees
  • Put away or secure loose items like furniture and pot plants
  • Create a safe space for animals
  • Disconnect all electrical items
  • Check your survival kit is ready

Stay up to date with all official warnings and natural warnings of a storm. Listen to your local radio station and other media for information, updates and advice.

Severe Weather Warnings and Severe Thunderstorm Warnings are issued by the Bureau of Meteorology to alert communities to the threat of severe weather. These warnings are provided to media outlets and are also available on the Bureau of Meteorology website.

During a storm:

  • Never enter or travel through floodwater or high wind areas
  • Keep listening to your local radio station for information, updates and advice
  • Keep in contact with a support person if you are isolated
  • Be prepared to evacuate if the situation worsens
  • Locate and prepare animals for evacuation
  • Stay indoors and clear of windows
  • If you are driving, put your hazard lights on and pull over to the side of the road keeping clear of drains, causeways, streams, creeks, trees and power lines

In life threatening situations call 000

Cal NSW SES on 132 500 if you:

  • are trapped by floodwaters
  • need assistance due to damaged property
  • require supply of essential supplies of your property is isolated

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

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 an emergency plan can help your remain safe during a storm. If the Bureau of Meteorology has issued a Severe Weather Warning or Sever Thunderstorm Warning now is the time to activate your home or business emergency plan.

This plan should outline the possible risks and hazards you may face and how you can minimise the impacts of storms.

If you don't have a plan, here are some simple things you could do:

  • Move indoors, bringing your children and animals with you
  • Have an emergency kit handy in case you lose power or need to leave. Add to your kit specific items relevant to your home or business
  • Before the storm arrives, secure any outdoor furniture

And for your business:

  • Check back-ups are current
  • Check staff are aware of the storm warning and their plans are being carried out
  • Raise stock if necessary or if there is a risk of flash flooding

Continue to listen to your radio station and other media for information and updates and unplug any electrical equipment connected to the mains power.

Be aware of official warnings and natural signs of storms.

In NSW, the Bureau of Meteorology alerts communities to the threat of storms via Severe Weather Warnings and Severe Thunderstorm Warnings. These warnings are provided to media outlets and are also available on the Bureau of Meteorology website.

Severe weather warnings are issued for the following weather patterns:

  • Winds of more than 63 km/h
  • Wind gusts of 90 km/h or more
  • Heavy rain that may lead to flash flooding
  • Abnormally high tides
  • Unusually large surf waves expected to cause dangerous conditions on the coast
  • Widespread blizzards

Natural warning signs:

Due to the unpredictable nature of storms, you may not always receive an official warning. There are natural warning signs to be aware of:

  • Gathering clouds
  • Darkening skies
  • Increasing winds
  • Rapid change in temperature

After a storm:

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.

Storms can cause major damage to your property and local infrastructure. it is important to follow directions given by emergency services after a storm, even if the immediate weather threat has seemingly passed.

Here are some tips for what to do after a storm:

  • Keep listening to your local radio station for information, updates and advice
  • Check your property for damage
  • Follow health and safety advice when cleaning up
  • do not drink water that has been exposed to storms
  • Do not eat food that has been exposed to storms
  • Stay clear of creeks, drains, causeways, gutters, streams, fallen trees, power lines and any damaged buildings
  • Check to see if your neighbours need helps
  • Do not go sight seeing

NSW SES provide temporary assistance to make safe property and to provide access to properties. Permanent repairs need to be done by professionals. Clearing away of debris is the responsibility of the property owner.

The aftermath of a storm is one of the best times to plan for future extreme weather events. 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 storms 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's role in a storm

Before a storm

Council's role is to investigate the risk of storm damage and to prepare for future weather events. Although we cannot predict exactly when, where or how bit the next storm will be, we can estimate the likelihood of their consequences so we can plan ahead.

During a storm

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

After a storm

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

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