26 September 2023

Communities urged to prepare for summer

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As the summer season begins, emergency services organisations have joined forces to urge communities to be safe and prepared following a horror year of natural disasters.

The call came from Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW), NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS), NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES), Marine Rescue NSW, Surf Life Saving NSW and the NSW Volunteer Rescue Association.

FRNSW Commissioner Paul Baxter commented that families needed to remain vigilant over the whole length of the summer season.

“Whether it’s planning for any potential bushfire danger in your area or something as simple as putting up lights on your Christmas tree, please keep safety in mind,” Commissioner Baxter said.

Commissioner of NSW RFS, Rob Rogers said the persistent rain had led to good grass and crop growth across NSW, especially in western parts of the State.

“As the warmer weather sets in, the landscape will dry out, increasing the risk of dangerous and fast-moving grass fires so I am urging people to know your risk and familiarise yourself with the new Fire Danger Rating System which has been simplified into four levels – Moderate, High, Extreme and Catastrophic – with clear actions for each level,” Commissioner Rogers said.

NSW SES Commissioner Carlene York said that with many roads flooded and properties isolated, it was important for people to take extra care while driving in flood-affected areas.

“Many of the rescues completed by our SES volunteers have unfortunately been for people caught in their vehicles by floodwater, so if you need to be on the road in these areas please plan ahead and in the event you do come across a flooded road then stop, turn around and find another way,” Commissioner York said.

Commissioner of Marine Rescue NSW, Stacey Tannos and Surf Life Saving NSW CEO Steve Pearce reiterated the importance of water safety and waterway awareness.

“Boaters should always log on with Marine Rescue when heading out, and log off when they return via VHF Channel 16 or the free Marine Rescue App,” Commissioner Tannos said.

“It’s quick and simple and gives you the reassurance that our volunteers can keep an eye out for you.”

Mr Pearce reminded people to swim at patrolled beaches, stay between the red and yellow flags, supervise their children and wear a life jacket when necessary.

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