BE PREPARED: Ballina SES volunteer Bec Nilsson (left) and Richmond Tweed SES community engagement officer Janelle Pettit suggest you prepare your home emergency kit for the storm season.
BE PREPARED: Ballina SES volunteer Bec Nilsson (left) and Richmond Tweed SES community engagement officer Janelle Pettit suggest you prepare your home emergency kit for the storm season. Cathy Adams

Stock up in case of an emergency says SES

HAVING your home prepared for lightning striking a tree branch or heavy winds could make the difference between surviving a storm and things ending in disaster, but one of the things we often forget to prepare is a home emergency kit.

Severe storm season is here and the SES is advising Northern Rivers residents to get prepared before it is too late.

Richmond Tweed SES community engagement officer Janelle Pettit says the best time to prepare for a storm is not when "you're in the middle of one".

"You need to think about what you're going to need if you're isolated and you don't have any power for days," Ms Pettit said.

She said having an emergency kit could be the difference between surviving if your home is isolated or having documents ready when you need to leave quickly.

"Last year when there was a big storm at Woodburn people were without power or phone reception for three days, so it's important to have something tucked away in the cupboard to take out if you need it," Ms Pettit said.

A well-stocked emergency kit should contain torches and batteries, candles and matches, a first aid kit and drinking water.

It should also contain dry or tinned food and baby food, as required.

SES volunteer Bec Nilsson said one thing people forgot to keep in their emergency kit was a radio.

"Most people have radios that plug into the wall, but they're not going to work when the power is out," Ms Nilsson said.

"The radio is the best place to hear up-to-date emergency information."

Ms Pettit also said having a plastic sleeve to put important documents in so they didn't get wet during an evacuation or a roof leak was a must.

"Those preparing emergency kits should make sure they have emergency contacts, insurance documents and prescriptions in a water-proof plastic satchel."

Ms Nilsson also reminded the community to tie down trampolines, clean out gutters and make sure loose roof tiles were replaced before a storm hit.

However, she said knowing your neighbours and working out an emergency meeting spot for your family was just as important as preparing the house.

"It's also a good idea to meet your neighbours and make contact with them so you can check on each other and call on them if you need help," Ms Nilsson said.



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