StormSafe and urban areas

Things to consider if you live in an urban area 

Urban areas, including metropolitan, suburbs and towns, can have specific storm risks including impacts of flash flooding. It is important to remember that storm water and floodwater in urban areas can be very dangerous. Areas of particular concern for flash flooding and storm water include:

  • low-lying and underground or under building car parks
  • approach ramps to bridges
  • under train lines
  • low-lying areas such as parks and sports grounds
  • areas close to the ocean, lagoons, creeks and water ways
  • culverts and storm water drain

When flash flooding is likely, leaving low-lying homes and businesses (evacuation) well before flash flooding begins is the best action to take, but only if it is safe to do so . If you are trapped by rising floodwater, seek refuge in the highest part of a sturdy building. Stay there and call '000' (triple zero) if you need rescue.

Flash flooding is incredibly dangerous. It is important to remember that floodwater can be faster flowing and deeper than it appears. It can also contain contaminants such as sewage and poisons, hidden snags and debris. Flash floods can also erode road and path surfaces leaving unseen dangers underneath. It is important to follow some simple measures to make sure you stay safe. The major cause of death during floods is by people entering floodwater.

Never drive, ride or walk through floodwater.


Trees and branches

Another concern is damage caused by falling trees and branches to people and property. A major call out for the NSW SES in urban areas is for damage caused by trees. Some of this damage is unavoidable but there are some things you can do around your property to help minimise some of this damage.

If you are thinking about planting trees near your home, do some research on height, root systems and distances you should be planting trees from property.


Storm water and roofs

With rainfall associated with storms, many NSW SES tasks are responding to water inundation into roofs. One of the most significant causes of this is blocked drains and gutters. By ensuring your drains and gutters are clear of debris can reduce the possibility of damage caused by rain water backing up and getting in under the eaves.


Preparing now for a storm can potentially save lives and can minimise damage to property and possessions.

Visit the Are your at risk page to find out about storm risks and hazards.


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