Emergency Management

Prepare and Respond to Emergencies and Disasters

Preparing for emergencies has never been more important. Extreme weather events and the COVID-19 pandemic have been challenging for our communities.

We can't stop disasters from happening, but what we can do is reduce how much they affect us by being prepared.


Be Emergency Ready

Build self-resilience and get prepared

We can't stop disasters from happening, but we can reduce how much they affect us by being prepared. 

5 Steps to Get Your Family Ready

Each year, communities across NSW experience fires, floods, storms, heatwaves, power outages and other emergencies. 

It's important to be aware of and prepared for seasonal hazards, whether you're at home, at work or away on holidays.

In an emergency such as a storm or a flash flood, you often don't have time to think of what you need to take with you, let alone the short time that you may have to pack and leave your home.

Get ready in five simple steps:

  1. Know your risk. Think about the area you're in and the types of disasters that could affect you.
  2. Plan now for what you will do in an emergency. Talk with your family about what you will do in different emergency situations
  3. Get your home ready. Prepare your home by doing general home maintenance and checking your insurance coverage.
  4. Be aware. Find out where to go for information if there is a disaster in your area and connect with NSW emergency services so you can stay informed.
  5. Look out for each other. Share information with your family, friends, neighbours and those who may need assistance.

Use the Get Prepared and Hazards Near Me Apps

Get Prepared app: Download today!

People using the get prepared app

Preparing matters: the easiest thing you can do to protect what you care about most

Get Prepared is a free and easy to use, one-stop tool to help you prepare for any type of emergency.

The app helps you connect with your key support people, accomplish simple tasks to make you and your loved ones safer, and protect the things that matter to you.

Do one simple thing to make you safer in an emergency. Download Get Prepared

Hazards Near Me app

Hazards near me app in situ

View emergency warnings and advice for fires and floods in NSW

Want to be alerted of the development and movements of bushfires and floods in your area?

You can get updated information including maps, reports and emergency advice through the free Hazards Near Me app for iPhone and Android. The app can send you push notifications when there are new incidents in your local area.

What's changed?

In February 2023 the NSW Rural Fire Service app Fires Near Me NSW was updated to include additional information about other emergencies from the NSW State Emergency Service. Fires Near Me is now called Hazards Near Me.

Over time, more alert types and functions will be added to the app.

If you already have the Fires Near Me app on your device, download the update in your app store.

Watch the "Get Prepared" Webinar

In October 2021, Council hosted three information sessions to support our residents to become more resilient in emergencies.   

View the recordings of the workshops with the Australian Red Cross, and State Emergency Services (SES) below:

Learn how to prepare your home for an emergency with the NSW SES:

Learn how to prepare yourself and your family with the Australian Red Cross:


Be Storm Safe

Severe thunderstorms cause more damage than any other short duration weather event in Sydney. While they can occur at any time, severe storms are most likely to hit Sydney from October to March. They can last from 10 minutes to several hours, with very strong winds, heavy rain and hail causing flash flooding, power outages and damage to property.

Lightning storm

NSW State Emergency Services

Be prepared for storms by following these simple steps:

Use the Hazards Near Me App

Prepare your home

  • Clear guttering and downpipes of leaves, trim trees and remove overhanging branches. You may need approval from Council before pruning or removing your trees.
  • Check and secure tiles or roofing sheets.
  • Protect skylights with strong wire mesh, and fit windows and glass doors with shutters or external metal insect screens.
  • Clear your yard of loose materials and rubbish that may blow about and be dangerous.
  • Prepare an emergency kit, which should include a torch, first aid kit, battery operated radio, and your emergency phone numbers.
  • Check your home insurance is up to date and adequate.
  • Secure your pets as loud thunder can scare them. Ensure your pets are microchipped and have registered up to date contact details with Council.  
  • Park vehicles under solid shelter or cover with firmly tied tarpaulins/blankets.
  • Secure all external doors and windows and draw curtains.
  • 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.
  • Listen to radio 702 AM for severe thunderstorm warning updates.
  • Go online to Bureau of Meteorology website for warnings.
  • If outdoors, seek solid enclosed shelter (not a tree or metal structure).If driving, pull over and wait— if possible in a spot clear of trees, powerlines and streams.
  • Don't use a fixed telephone during a thunderstorm due to lightning danger.

After the storm has hit

  • Beware of fallen powerlines, damaged buildings and trees and flooded watercourses.
  • Go online to the NSW State Emergency Service website for advice specific to your local area.
  • Check for structural property damage and cover with plastic sheeting and nailed on wood strips.
  • Check on and help your neighbours.
  • Don't put yourself in unnecessary danger by sight-seeing.
  • If you require assistance due to flood, storm and tsunami emergencies:
    • Call the NSW SES on 132 500
    • In case of power failure, fallen powerlines, electrical problems—call Ausgrid 
    • In case of gas or water supply interruption or emergencies—call the relevant local supplier
    • To arrange permanent repairs to your home, call your insurance company for a claim form

For more information, please visit: 

Be Prepared for Power Outages

Power outages can occur at any time and can be caused by heatwaves, bushfires or storms.

Man and junction box

If you see fallen powerlines never approach them - stay at least 8 metres or 2 car lengths away and call Ausgrid on 13 13 88.

Prepare for a power outage

  • Prepare an emergency kit and ensure kit has torches, spare batteries, a mobile phone charger, a battery powered or wind-up radio and fresh water.
  • If the power goes out your landline phone and any electric pumps may not work.
  • If you require an uninterrupted supply of power because you are on life support equipment or have a medical condition that requires continuous power supply, you should report your needs to your electricity retailer so they can contact you in the event of an outage.
  • Download Ausgrid's Life Support Checklist and Action Plan Checklist to help you prepare a plan in case the power goes out.

What to do if the power goes out

  • Check the Ausgrid outage map for known outages, report fallen powerline or power outage at your address.
  • Check in on neighbours to ensure they are okay.
  • Listen to ABC radio 702 AM for news and updates on weather conditions and the power outage.
  • Turn off appliances to protect them when power is restored. It is a good idea to keep one light switched on so you know when the power is restored.
  • Take precaution of food safety to avoid food poisoning.

What NOT to do if the power goes out

  • Never use candles near flammable materials such as curtains. Only use candles on stable, non-combustible surfaces. Never leave candles unattended.
  • Never use generators or outdoor gas heaters inside.
  • Never do your own electrical work – DIY electrical work is illegal and very dangerous.

For more information, please visit:

Beat the Heat

Heatwaves or extreme heat events can have serious impacts on people's health. 

Climate projections show extreme heat events are occurring more often and with greater intensity.

It is important you plan and take precautions during the heatwave.

Beat the heat - sun shining through the clouds

Keep yourself cool

  • Stay out of the sun
  • Try to be indoors during the hottest part of the day
  • Put wet towels or cool packs on your arms or neck
  • Take cool showers or baths or put your feet in cool water
  • Limit physical activity, like household chores or exercise, to early in the morning when it is coolest
  • Follow your doctor's advice if you have any medical conditions

Stay hydrated

  • Drink plenty of water regularly even if you don't feel thirsty
  • Avoid alcoholic, hot or sugary drinks including tea and coffee
  • If you go outside, carry a bottle of water with you

Keep your home cool

  • Shut windows, curtains and blinds during the day and open them at night to let in cool air and create a cross breeze
  • Use air-conditioning set to cool or fans if you have them
  • Spend time in the coolest area of your house (often on the ground floor on the south side)
  • Use your stove and oven as little as possible

Seek out the cool

  • Outdoor places that offer shade from the direct sun, such as parks with tree shade or shelters
  • Your local pool, water playground or splash park
  • Local safe and shady waterways such as rivers and streams
  • Air-conditioned public buildings, such as libraries and shopping centres

Look out for each other

  • Keep in contact with elderly friends, neighbours and relatives during a heat wave in case you or they need help
  • Take particular care to keep children cool and encourage them to drink
  • Never leave babies, children or animals alone in a car even if the air-conditioner is on

For more information:

Be Bushfire Ready

For many parts of Australia, the summer of 2019-2020 was one of the worst bushfire seasons on record, with devastating effects on many communities and their environment. Although the Lane Cove Council local government area was largely spared from the destruction, there have previously been major bushfire events including for example during 1994 in the Lane Cove River valley.

Bushfire - flames engulfing leaves

Parks and open spaces are among the great natural attractions of our City. However, living next to or near bushland can come with higher risks. 

NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS)        

  • Phone (Emergencies): 000 
  • Bush Fire Information Line: 1800 679 737 
  • Website: www.rfs.nsw.gov.au 

Use the Hazards Near Me App

  • To keep alerted the development and movements of fires in your local area, download the free the Hazards Near Me app.

Prepare your home for bushfire season

  • Clean your gutters of leaves and twigs and install metal gutter guards.
  • Repair damaged or missing tiles on the roof.
  • Fit seals to eliminate gaps around windows and doors and install fine metal mesh screens.
  • Enclose the areas under the house and repair or cover gaps in external walls.
  • Have a well-equipped emergency kit in a safe place with items including first aid materials, a battery powered torch and radio, and drinking water.
  • Keep lawns short and gardens well maintained and cut back trees and shrubs overhanging buildings. You may need approval from Council before pruning or removing your trees.
  • Clean up fallen leaves, twigs and debris around the property and move flammable items like gas cylinders away from the house.
  • Assist less mobile and able neighbours to prepare their home.
  • Have hoses long enough to reach around your house.
  • Check your home and contents insurance, and make sure it has adequate cover and is up to date.

During a bushfire

  • In the event of a bushfire or other disaster, residents should seek shelter.
  • Stay informed: Check for bushfire updates at Hazards Near Me , or listen to radio 702 AM.
  • Follow the Willoughby/Lane Cove Emergency Management Plan.
  • If you are disabled or elderly or unsure about staying, evacuate early. Do not try to evacuate too late.

Know your Neighbourhood Safer Places

Neighbourhood Safer Places are areas of last resort during a bushfire emergency. In Lane Cove, they are mainly open spaces with no shelter and are some distance from bushfire prone land. Your trigger to leave should be early enough so you do not need to use a Neighbourhood Safe Place.

You should know where your local Neighbourhood Safer Places are and how to get there (see list below), as well as alternate routes in case the road is blocked or becomes too dangerous.

Find out more.

 Title   Type  Location  LGA
 Bayview Park   Open Space   Bay Street, Greenwich  Lane Cove 
 Woodford Bay Bicentennial Reserve  Open Space  Kelly's Esplanade, Longueville  Lane Cove
 Pottery Green  Open Space   Phoenix Street, Lane Cove  Lane Cove
 Kingsford Smith Oval  Open Space   Kenneth Street, Longueville  Lane Cove
 Linley Point Reserve  Open Space  348 Burns Bay Road, Lane Cove   Lane Cove 
 Saint Ignatius College - Junior School Oval   Open Space   College Road South, Riverview  Lane Cove
 Majorie York Playground  Open Space  62 Tambourine Road, Riverview  Lane Cove


For more information:


When is the Local Emergency Management Plan Activated?

In the event of an emergency, residents in the Lane Cove local government area are covered by the Willoughby/Lane Cove Local Emergency Management Plan.

This plan is produced by the Local Emergency Management Committee made up of representatives from councils, NSW Police, Fire & Rescue NSW, NSW State Emergency Service (Willoughby/Lane Cove) and other local organisations.

The Willoughby/Lane Cove Local Emergency Management Committee is responsible for:

  • Planning and preparing for emergencies
  • Co-ordinating emergency responses
  • Aiding recovery efforts

Emergency response capabilities are tested on a regular basis.

This section of Council's website provides the community with information about what to expect in the case of an emergency in the Lane Cove area. Residents can also download a flyer containing key information to help them prepare for an emergency.


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?

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:

  • If an evacuation is necessary this will be announced by the NSW Police, Fire and Rescue NSW, NSW State Emergency Service or NSW Ambulance Service. They will also instruct you on the safest location to proceed to.

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 may be necessary. . Only the NSW Police, Fire and Rescue NSW, NSW State Emergency Service and the Ambulance Service have the authority to initiate an evacuation.

If 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 Local Disaster 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.

The Willoughby/Lane Cove Local Emergency Management Plan outlines the arrangements that will occur between organisations to effectively control an emergency or co-ordinate emergency support.

Combat Agencies:

The designated combat agencies for various incidents are:


 Law enforcement; major accident / incidents involving threat to life 
 and property;aviation; earthquake and transportation emergencies
 NSW Police Force 
 Search and Rescue  NSW Police Force 
 Fire Urban  Fire & Rescue NSW 


Hazardous Materials

 On land and inland waters  Fire & Rescue NSW
 On state waters  Sydney Ports/NSW Maritime

 Clean up

 Environmental Protection Authority 
 Tsunami  NSW State Emergency Service
 Storm and floor  NSW State Emergency Service
 Animal health emergencies  Department of Primary Industries
 Public health emergencies  Ministry of Health


Emergency contacts

Police, Fire, Ambulance

Police: 000

NSW State Emergency Service

Phone: 132 500

Further Information