Get ready for disasters

Each year, communities across New South Wales experience a range of emergencies including bushfires, home fires, floods, storms, heatwaves and power outages. These events can occur with little or no warning.

Our emergency service organisations do an incredible job of keeping us safe, but they can only do so much.

The information provided on this page is a starting point to help you prepare for an emergency event. Being prepared helps you cope and make better decisions when an emergency affects you.

Being aware and prepared is everyone’s responsibility. 

Australian Warning System 

The Australian Warning System is a new national approach to information and Calls to Actions for hazards like bushfire, flood, storm, cyclone, extreme heat and severe weather.

A warning provides point-in-time information about a hazard that is impacting or is expected to impact communities. It describes the impact and expected consequences for communities and includes advice on what people should do. 

What are the warning levels?

There are three warning levels:

Advice (Yellow): An incident has started. There is no immediate danger. Stay up to date in case the situation changes.

Watch and Act (Orange): There is a heightened level of threat. Conditions are changing and you need to start taking action now to protect you and your family.

Emergency Warning (Red): An emergency warning is the highest level of warning. You may be in danger and need to take action immediately. Any delay now puts your life at risk. 

Calls to action: 

Each warning level has a set of action statements to give the community clearer advice about what to do. Calls to Action can be used flexibly across all three warning levels depending on the hazard.


Prepare now

Stay informed

Monitor conditions

Stay informed/threat is reduced

Avoid the area

Return with caution

Avoid smoke

Watch and Act

Prepare to leave/evacuate

Leave/evacuate now (if you are not prepared)

Prepare to take shelter

Move/stay indoors

Stay near shelter

Walk two or more streets back

Monitor conditions as they are changing

Be aware of ember attacks

Move to higher ground (away from creeks/rivers/coast)

Limit time outside (cyclone, heat asthma)

Avoid the area

Stay away from damaged buildings and other hazards

Prepare for isolation

Protect yourself against the impacts of extreme heat

Do not enter flood water

Not safe to return

Prepare your property (cyclone/storm)

Emergency warning

Leave/evacuate (immediately, by am/pm/hazard timing)

Seek/take shelter now

Shelter indoors now

Too late/dangerous to leave

Get Ready for natural disasters

Everyday actions make a difference. Together, we can prepare our community for natural disasters such as storms, fires and floods.

Get Ready - Bushfires

It is important to sit down with everyone who lives at your place to make a Bushfire Survival Plan. That way, if a bushfire starts, everyone will know what to do and when to do it.

The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) has an online tool at to complete your Bushfire Survival Plan.

Get Ready – Flood, storm and tsunami

If you live in an area prone to flooding it is important to prepare your family and property now before floods arrive. The SES has an online tool to complete your Home Emergency Plan.

Get Ready – Business

During an emergency, your main aim as a business owner is to ensure your business continues operating in a safe manner. By carefully researching and planning before an emergency happens you will be able to act quickly and effectively.

The Australian Government publishes information on how to prepare an Emergency Management Plan for Business.

Get Ready – Animals

Animals rely on us to keep them safe. Emergencies can occur suddenly, and planning for your pets and animals keeps everyone safe.

Making an Animal Emergency Plan is easy. For more details head to the SES Get Ready – Animals page.