Always listen to advice from emergency services. You can find links on our main Emergency page.
Unless you’re told to leave, it’s usually best to stay where you are.
Remember, you should never try to drive, ride or walk through flood waters or bush fires.
Australia has an Emergency Alert telephone warning system. In an emergency, you may get a call or text from this system. You don’t need to sign up to get Emergency Alerts.
There is also a siren sound called the Standard Emergency Warning System that can be heard over radio or television before an urgent safety message.
It may not be safe to pick up your children from school or day care during an emergency.
Tune in to local radio, and follow advice from emergency services before attempting to collect your children.
You should be ready to deal with your pets or animals in an emergency. Make sure they’re included in your emergency plans.
If you have to evacuate, take your pets if you can, but do not risk a person’s life to protect animals. Make sure you have a suitable carrier or pet box marked with your contact details.
The SES website also has a handy guide to managing pets and animals in an emergency.
Dealing with an emergency is a group effort, with multiple services working together.
One organisation will take charge. They are called the combat agency, and are experts in dealing with whatever is causing the emergency. For example, in a bush fire the combat agency will be the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS). In a flood, the combat agency will be the State Emergency Service (SES).
Other agencies, including Police, Council and others, will provide support to the combat agency and help manage things like evacuations, road closures and recovery.
For more details, you can read our local Emergency Management Plan.
You can also read more about Council’s role in emergencies.