We know that severe weather and other emergency events will continue to be a part of our lives on the Central Coast and these can come at any moment. Being prepared for emergencies can save lives, property and helps our community to recover more quickly from emergency events when they do occur.
It is important to understand your risks and types of emergencies which might affect you, your family, or your business and have an up-to-date plan to ensure you are adequately prepared to respond to emergencies.
Don’t wait for a disaster to happen before you think about what you need to do. Get ready now.
Get Ready in five steps
Council is part of the NSW Government’s ‘Get Ready’ initiative which gives us five simple steps we can all follow to prepare for any emergency situation:
1. Know your risk
It’s important to think about the area you live in, your circumstances and the types of disasters that could affect you. Council has tools and links to a number of resources to help you identify your risks
Find out whether your home or property is prone to bushfire, flooding or other risks through Council's interactive mapping tool.
2. Plan now for what you will do
Ensure you have a current emergency plan in place which considers your risks, abilities and resources, plus an emergency evacuation kit ready to go.
- Download a copy of the Get Ready Central Coast Guide.
- Prepare an emergency kit or Emergency Go Box
- Download the Australian Red Cross Get Prepared App
Additonal planning resources:
- Complete an Australian Red Cross Redi plan, go to redcross.org.au
- State Emergency Service (SES) Plan, go to sesemergencyplan.com.au
- Rural Fire Service (RFS) Bushfire Survival Plan,go to rfs.nsw.gov.au
Emergency planning information:
- Preparing for flooding on the central Coast: Flooding is a natural phenomenon that occurs when water covers land that is usually dry. Floods can have a major impact upon communities. Learn how to assess your risk for floods, Go to our dedicated web page on Preparing for Flood Emergencies.
- Preparing for bushfires on the Central Coast: Anyone living near a bushland area needs to understand the potential risk to their property from bushfire and how to reduce that risk. If you live in one of these areas, you need to be FireWise and know how to protect your home and family. Go to our dedicated web page on Preparing for Bushfire Season.
- The Central Coast Disaster Dashboard is a central online platform to access vital local emergency information and news from a range of agencies and authorities during a natural disaster. The site features interactive maps with real-time alerts and local information such as weather and marine conditions and warnings, bush fire and flood incidents, rain and water levels, power and network outages, road impacts, dam levels and water supply. There is also helpful information and resources to help plan for, or recover from, natural disasters and severe weather events.
- Planning for your pets. Planning how to take care of your animals before an emergency helps to keep everyone safe. While you are creating or reviewing your emergency plans, be sure to include all pets and livestock in those plans. Make a plan for your animals today, go to the SES website, for detailed information on planning for your pets in an emergency.
3. Get your home or business premises ready
Prepare your property to best withstand emergency events, with general maintenance and checks, and ensure you are adequately insured.
- Download a copy of the Get Ready Central Coast Guide
- Find more tips on preparing your property on the online Central Coast Emergency Dashboard
4. Be aware and keep informed
Accessing the right and most up-to-date information before, during and after an emergency is vital. Find out in advance where to find critical information.
Find out in advance where to find critical information.
- Official emergency broadaster. The ABC is the official emergency broadcaster. Listen to the local ABC stations: Central Coast – 92.5 FM, Newcastle- 1233 AM, and Sydney- 702 AM. Download the ABC Listen App and select the ABC Central Coast station. Listen online: ww.abc.net.au/centralcoast/live Follow ABC Central Coast Facebook page.
- The Central Coast Disaster Dashboard, emergency.centralcoast.nsw.gov.au is an online local hub with information, resources and planning tools to prepare for emergency events, and interactive maps and alerts from lead emergency services for the Central Coast.
- Weather: For weather alerts, warnings, forecasts, rainfall and river heights go to Bureau of Meteorology www.bom.gov.au or the Bureau’s Weather app (BOM). Follow on Facebook (www.facebook.com/bureauofmeteorology)
- Storms, Floods and Tsunami emergency status, alerts and warnings (SES). Refer to the NSW SES website or NSW SES Facebook page.
- Bush fires (RFS). For bushfires refer to NSW Rural Fire Service website and NSW Rural Fire Service Facebook page.
- Council channels: During an emergency event, Council will regularly post on our Facebook and Twitter social media pages with important news on the impacts to Council facilities, services, assets and managed public spaces, and share key information on the emergency event from the leading Emergency Service Providers ( for example the SES and RFS), Key information is also posted on Council's website, centralcoast.nsw.gov.au and and included in our weekly eNewsletter (sign up to eNews)
Key Apps to download:
- BOM weather app (The Bureau of Meterorology)
- Fires Near Me NSW
- Floods Near Me NSW
- Emergency +
- Get Prepared Red Cross
- Live Traffic NSW
5. Look out for each other
Don’t wait for an emergency to build community networks with neighbours. Get to know each other now, share your plans with neighbours, friends and family and identify your community strengths and weaknesses to be able to plan for them in advance.
- Download a copy of the Get Ready Central Coast Guide
A connected community is a strong and resilient community. It is important in an emergency to look out for others in your community, especially those who may need assistance in preparation, evacuation and recovery. Share information with family, friends and neighbours about preparing for emergencies
- Identify those in your neighbourhood who may need help to prepare. If your neighbour’s house is at risk, yours is too!
- Identify those who will need assistance in an emergency and plan for this
- Identify what resources could be shared in your community before, during and after an emergency
- Look out for each other in recovery, the stress of an emergency will impact on everyone differently
- Remember everyone has something to offer in an emergency, help can come in many ways during a disaster
- Create contact lists for your community so in an emergency communication will be much easier
Resilience Journal for disaster recovery
While emergencies and disasters are difficult to predict or control, our ability to adapt and respond to these experiences is something that we - as individuals and as a community - can actively work to develop. This is known as building resilience.
We have developed a Resilience Journal that includes information, stories and activities to build your own and your communities’ resilience. It acts as a ‘one-stop-shop’ of knowledge, resources and self-reflection, covering topics such as:
- how and when to access mental health support
- self-care resources
- self-assessment tools
- journaling activities
- emergency preparedness.
This initiative is jointly funded by the Commonwealth and the NSW State Government under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.
As a community, we’ve displayed great strength in working through these challenges together, but what do we do after they pass and how do we learn and prepare for next time?
The new Emergency Ready Now podcast shares people’s stories about disaster recovery, community and mental wellbeing to explore these questions and help us become more resilient and connected in the wake of disaster.
Explaining emergencies to children
The Central Coast can be impacted by many types of emergencies which can cause stress and anxiety, especially in young children who do not fully understand the situations.
We have been using The Birdie Tree books in our Education and Care Centres with great results in soothing anguish, concern, and reassuring children that while these emergency events do happen and may mean big changes to them, people will come and help them through it.
There are five books which we have added to our online storytime readings:
- Birdie and the virus
- Birdie and the fire
- Birdie and the flood
- Birdie and the very hot day
- Birdie and the drought
If you struggle to explain the importance of emergency preparation and resiliency to your children, watch the videos.