Be storm and bushfire ready
Written by Darryn Capes-Davis on 21 September 2019
The Hills Shire Council is urging residents to prepare their homes in advance of severe weather situations following the early start of the Bush Fire Season, declared on September 1, a month earlier than normal, and with Storm Season starting in October.
The latest claims data from NRMA Insurance shows that the Hills Shire was home to three of the most storm affected suburbs in Sydney during the 2017-18 financial year with Castle Hill topping the list; Kellyville fifth on the list and Baulkham Hills seventh.
Mayor of The Hills Shire, Dr Michelle Byrne is encouraging residents to be prepare now, especially with a number of fires burning across the state.
“Much of our beautiful Shire is surrounded by bushland and we are also prone to damaging storms,” Mayor Byrne said.
“Small steps like establishing a safe meeting point for the whole family, clearing your gutters and property of any unnecessary foliage or rubbish and having a plan in place to protect your home can make a real difference when a fire emergency or storm takes place.
“Some more preventative measures that could save lives include removing flammable material such as paint and outdoor furniture from your home, ensuring you have an adequate hose and reliable water source, and tidying your garden by mowing the lawn and trimming any overhanging branches.
“It is also important to remain vigilant and to monitor bush fire alert levels if you live in an area that is fire prone or surrounded by bushland. The NSW Rural Fire Service website and the ‘Fires Near Me’ app are a great way to get information on bush fire alert levels and fire danger in your area,” Mayor Byrne added.
You can follow a few simple tips to prepare your property for both the bush fire season and the storm season:
- Check the roof is in good repair;
- Have a cleared area around your home;
- Remove material that can burn around your home (eg door mats, leaves, mulch, woodpiles, paint and outdoor furniture); and
- Prepare a sturdy hose or hoses that will reach all around your home.
“On behalf of the community, I would like to extend my gratitude and praise to all the firefighters, volunteers and emergency service workers who work so hard to make this region safe,” Mayor Byrne said.
“Their dedication to safeguarding the Hills Shire is inspiring and very much appreciated, especially when their selfless actions go towards protecting others and their belongings,” Mayor Byrne added.
To find out more about storm safety visit the NSW SES website, www.ses.nsw.gov.au.