The Australian Government has outlined a number of potential impact examples relating to the State of New South Wales, including more flooding. For example, a 1 in 100 year flood in the upper Parramatta River may become a 1 in 44 year flood. Hail storms may become more frequent and more severe in Sydney, with hail stones potentially reaching 17 cm in diameter. Both scenarios may result in extensive property damage and insured losses and social impacts such as physical, mental and emotional stress may also be significant.

Severe storms can produce strong winds, torrential rain, lighting and large hailstones. Flash flooding can occur due to increased surface runoff and gale force winds can cause damage roofs, trees and powerlines. Storms may cause death, injury and damage to public and private properties and natural ecosystems. Storms can also indirectly affect you by stopping access to roads and cutting power and lines of communication. 

Reduce the potential impact of a severe storm

Pre-storm season: 

  • Trim trees, remove overhanging branches and clear gutters and downpipes, clear yard of loose materials and rubbish 
  • Secure loose roof tiles or sheets 
  • Protect sky lights with wire mesh and fit glass windows and doors with shutters or insect screens 
  • Prepare an emergency kit (see below) and emergency phone numbers 
  • Check home insurance is current and adequate (include building debris clean up/disposal costs) 
  • Consider taking a first aid course with St John’s Ambulance

When a storm is approaching:

  • Listen to 702 ABC Sydney news and weather bulletins regularly throughout the days when "something just might happen”
  • Shelter and secure animals 
  • Put loose garden furniture, toys etc inside 
  • Park vehicles under solid shelter or cover with firmly tied tarpaulins/blankets 
  • Secure all external doors and windows and draw curtains 
  • Keep valuables, medications, spare clothing in plastic bags and your emergency kit handy
  • Disconnect all electrical items, external TV/radio aerials and computer modems

When the storm strikes:

  • Stay inside and shelter well clear of windows, doors and skylights
  • If the building starts to break up, shelter in the strongest part (cellar, internal room, hallway, built-in wardrobe) under a mattress/doona or strong table/bench 
  • If outdoors, seek solid enclosed shelter 
  • If driving, stay clear of trees, power lines and streams 
  • Do not use a fixed telephone during a severe storm due to lightning danger

After the storm has hit:

  • Check for structural property damage and cover with plastic sheeting and nailed on wood strips 
  • For emergency assistance refer to your emergency phone numbers 
  • Beware of fallen powerlines and trees, damaged buildings and flooded watercourses 
  • Don’t put yourself in unnecessary danger by sight-seeing

Further Information