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Emergency Management Plan


Be Emergency Ready 

Build self-resilience and get prepared

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

Extreme weather events and the COVID-19 pandemic have been challenging for our communities.

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Beat the Heat

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

Heatwaves or extreme heat events are times of abnormally hot weather lasting several days. It is based on the three-day forecast minimum and maximum temperatures, compared to historical temperatures over the last 30 days, for a particular location.

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

It is important you prepare early, plan for the first heatwave and protect yourself.

Prepare early and plan for your first heatwave

Keep yourself cool

  • Drink plenty of water regularly even if you don't feel thirsty

  • 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

  • If you must go outside, apply sunscreen, wear a wide brim hat and sunglasses and take water with you

Stay hydrated by drinking water

  • Drink plenty of water regularly even if you don't feel thirsty

  • Avoid alcoholic, hot or sugary drinks including tea and coffee (they can make dehydration worse)

  • 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

  • Don't forget to prepare your home for heatwave

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:

In October 2021, three community information sessions were presented by Australian Red Cross, State Emergency Services (SES), Lane Cove Council, City of Ryde Council and Willoughby City Council to support our residents to become more resilient in emergencies. View the recordings of the workshops below:

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

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Are you ready for an emergency? A workshop with the Australian Red Cross:

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Get Prepared app: Download today!

Download the free Get Prepared app to prepare for an emergency

Do one simple thing to prepare for an emergency. Download Get Prepared, co-created by Australian Red Cross and general insurer IAG, to keep your emergency plan close to hand.

Lane Cove Council encourages you to prepare and stay safe in a disaster or a time of crisis by downloading and completing an emergency plan on the Get Prepared app. Are you ready for an emergency.jpg

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.

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

  • establish a quick and easy network of support with your three key contacts
  • review the risks relevant to where you live
  • create checklists of actions to make an emergency plan
  • save the emergency plan as a PDF to be printed and shared with others.

Lane Cove Council is supporting our residents to become more resilient to disasters. As a participating Council in the Resilient Sydney program, we are collaborating with the Councils of Sydney to create a metropolis that is connected, inclusive and resilient.

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

Get Your Family Ready


Each year, communities across NSW experience bush fires, home 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.

Get ready in five simple steps:

1. Know your risk. Think about the area you're in or the location of your holiday destination and the types of disasters that could affect you.

2. Plan now for what you will do. Sit down and talk with your family and plan for what you will do if a disaster affects your area or when you are away on holidays.

3. Get your home ready. Prepare your home by doing general home maintenance and checking your insurance coverage.

4. Be aware. Find out how to prepare, what to do if there is a disaster in your area or while you are away on holidays and connect with NSW emergency services or keep on top of news reports if travelling so you can stay informed.

5. Look out for each other. Share information with your family, friends, neighbours and those who may need assistance.

In an emergency such as an extended power outage, or a tree down on a house 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.

Be Storm Safe

Storm.jpgSevere thunderstorms are the most common type of storms in New South Wales, causing more damage than any other short duration weather event. 

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. 

NSW State Emergency Services

Be prepared for storms by following these simple steps:

Prepare your home

  • Clear guttering and downpipes of leaves, trim trees and remove overhanging branches so that they are well clear of your home. You may need approval from Council before pruning or removing your tree. Penalties apply for unauthorised tree work. To check if you need approval, please view information about 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.  

  • If you own a boat, check that it is securely moored or protected on land.

When a severe storm is approaching

  • Listen to radio 702 AM and ABC Sydney news weather bulletins regularly throughout the day for storm warnings.

  • Go online via your smart phone or PC to Bureau of Meteorology website for warnings.

  • Shelter and secure pets and animals.

  • Put 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.

  • Put valuables, medications and spare warm clothing in plastic bags with your emergency kit and keep it 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.

  • Listen to radio 702 AM on your portable radio for severe thunderstorm warning updates.

  • Go online via your smart phone or PC 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.

  • Listen to radio 702 AM for storm updates.

  • Go online via your smart phone or PC 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 your local power supplier

    • 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 information on power outages, visit the Ausgrid website.

  • Clean up after the storm


Power Outages

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

A tree interfering with powerlines is often what causes preventable power outages. You can help by regularly checking the trees on and nearby to your property. shutterstock_2131465515.jpg

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. Make sure they have your up-to-date contact details.
  • 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.
  • Stay clear of any fallen powerlines and keep others away.
  • Check in on neighbours to ensure they are okay.
  • Keep a radio on for news and updates on weather conditions and the power outage. ABC 702AM is the local emergency broadcaster.
  • 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.

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.

Food safety during an power outage

During a power outage it is important to be safe with food to avoid food poisoning.

  • The most important thing is to try to keep cold and frozen food cold. If food is still cold to touch (less than 5°C) it is safe to use.
  • Visit the Australian Institute of Food Safety for more information on food safety during power outages.

For more information, please visit:

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. Climate Change is predicted to increase the risk of bushfires due to hotter and drier conditions in the Sydney Catchment. Bushfire.jpg

Although the Lane Cove Council local government area was largely spared from the destruction of summer 2019-20, there have previously been major bushfire events including for example during 1994 in the Lane Cove River valley. 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: 

Prepare a Plan

The Rural Fire Service's (RFS) Bushfire Survival Plan provides easy to understand information on: 

  • Preparing for the bushfire season

  • What to do in a bushfire

  • Surviving a bushfire 

To help keep alerted and track the development and movements of bushfires in your region, district or local area, you can get frequently updated information including maps, reports and emergency advice through the Fires Near Me website or apps for iPhone and Android. These links and tools can form part of your plan and its activation should you need to do so ahead of a potential bushfire situation.

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.

  • Avoid storing fuel sources in the backyard.

  • 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 tree. Penalties apply for unauthorised tree work. To check if you need approval, please view information about 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.

  • Residents are reminded that no removal of any trees (private or public) lands is permitted without Council's written consent and fines will apply for illegal removal.

During a bushfire

  • In the event of a bushfire or other disaster, residents should seek shelter.

  • Stay informed: Check fir bushfire updates at Fires Near Me website or apps for iPhone and Android, or listen to radio 702 AM for bushfire updates.

  • 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

Lane Cove local government area are covered by the Willoughby/Lane Cove Local Emergency Management Plan. It provides the community with information about what to expect in the case of an emergency in the Lane Cove area.

Neighbourhood Safer Places for refuge (see list below) in the Lane Cove Council 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.

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For more information:

Local Emergency Management Plan

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 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 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 emergenciesNSW Police Force
Search and RescueNSW Police Force
Fire UrbanFire & Rescue NSW

Hazardous Materials

On Land and inland watersFire & Rescue NSW
On State Waters
Sydney Ports/NSW Maritime
Clean UpEnvironmental Protection Authority
TsunamiNSW State Emergency Service
Storm and FloodNSW State Emergency Service
Animal Health EmergenciesDepartment of Primary Industries
Public Health EmergenciesMinistry of Health

The emergency management system is organised so that if the required service cannot be obtained by the Willoughby/Lane Cove Emergency Management Plan, then it will be supplied by the next level up which is the North-West Metropolitan Region Emergency Management Plan; or the next level up which is the NSW Emergency Management Plan
Emergency Management Plans are kept up to date by continuously reviewing the plans and completing at least one exercise per year.

The Willoughby/Lane Cove Emergency Management Plan has access to a Local Emergency Operations Centre that can be set up so that it is ready to control/co-ordinate activities when required. As soon as a potential emergency is identified, the Local Emergency Operations Centre is placed on alert and its delegated officers and support staff starts monitoring the situation.

If the emergency or incident develops further, the Local Emergency Operation Centre is placed on stand-by and the relevant control and liaison officer's report to the Centre ready to play an active role in controlling or co-ordinating support.

The Local Emergency Operations Centre becomes fully activated when, either a combat agency requests support assistance, when the Local Emergency Operations Controller determines that assistance is required or when the combat agency passes over the control to the Local Emergency Operations Controller. The Local Emergency Operations Controller, together with the staff of the centre, then takes over the control or co-ordination of support to the Combat Agency for the emergency.

In order to aid the co-ordinated support in emergencies, the Willoughby/Lane Cove Emergency Management Plan requires a Hazard Analysis to be completed for the area. This identifies the most likely sources of risk. Sources identified in this way are emergencies such as earthquakes, major transport accidents, air disasters, high winds, etc. For each of these events, the plan considers what preventative measures can be taken before the emergency occurs and which Combat Agency will be best suited to manage each emergency scenario. In order to assist in this, a number of supporting and sub plans are prepared at local, regional and state levels.

Emergency contacts

Police, Fire, Ambulance

Phone: 000

NSW State Emergency Service

Phone: 132 500

Further Information