Emergency Services

Emergencies in Willoughby

This section of Council’s website provides the community with information about what to expect in the case of an emergency in the Willoughby area.

What happens in an emergency?

In the case of a life threatening emergency, call 000.

NSW Police, Fire and Rescue NSW and the NSW State Emergency Service are often the first on the scene in an emergency.  Welfare, transport and health organisations also provide essential services.

NSW State Emergency Service will assist with genuine emergencies relating to flood or storm.

What to do?

pdf format Brochure - Be Prepared in an Emergency

In the case of an emergency, residents in the area will be requested to either:
Seek Shelter - this is the most common form of response
Evacuate - this is a rare occurrence.

Residents may receive an emergency alert in which case they should follow the instructions given.  In general, in the event of an emergency, residents should:

1. Seek Shelter:

  • Stay inside the residence
  • Close all doors and windows
  • Turn off and block all air conditioning vents.

2. Stay Informed:

  • Check local radio, television or electronic media
  • Evacuations are a rare occurrence; await official notification by emergency services
  • Residents may also evacuate prior to an event if they feel it is safe to do so.

3. Prepare:

  • You can start preparing now for a disaster by knowing your risk (bushfire, storm, house fire) and planning what you will do if a disaster affects Willoughby. You can also prepare your home by doing general home maintenance and checking your insurance.  Stay informed and share information with your family, friends, neighbours and those who may need assistance – look out for each other.

Emergency Warning

Emergency alerts will be sent in the form of:

  • Recorded voice messages to landline numbers based on handset location
  • Text messages to mobile phones based on your billing address
  • If you receive an Emergency Alert, follow the instructions in the message.

You may also hear the Standard Emergency Warning Signal (SEWS) which is a distinctive tone played on radio or television in the event of an emergency. 


In some instances, evacuations of a house or area may become necessary. The organisations that have the authority to initiate an evacuation are the NSW Police, Fire and Rescue NSW, NSW State Emergency Service and the Ambulance Service.

If any of these officers instruct you to evacuate, you must do so - they are doing it to save you from a possible threat to your life. Go directly with all members of your family, your pets and medications to the evacuation assembly area. You may also receive evacuation instructions via the media or public address system.

It is advisable for all residents to consider the possibility of evacuation as part of their emergency preparedness plan. Decide what you believe are the most important possessions to save and keep them in one place. This way, you won't leave anything behind that you wanted to take, and you will be able to quickly evacuate the premises.

Willoughby/Lane Cove Emergency Management Plan

In the event of an emergency, residents in the Willoughby local government area are covered by the pdf format Willoughby/Lane Cove Emergency Management Plan
If an incident that is being managed by one combat agency grows to such an extent that it will require the support of several combat agencies, then the provisions in the Willoughby/Lane Cove Emergency Management Plan are utilised to either aid the combat agency in co-ordinating support or take over the control of the emergency leaving each combat agency to manage their individual areas of expertise.

This Plan outlines the arrangements that will occur between organisations to effectively control an emergency or co-ordinate emergency support.