Alister Henskens portrait
Alister Henskens portrait

Prepare Now as Summer Begins

Bushfire behind tree silhouettes

With the arrival of summer, locals are being urged to prepare for severe weather with an increased grass fire risk this season, following a horror year of flooding.

Member for Ku-ring-gai Alister Henskens SC said that despite the persistent heavy rainfall there is an increased risk of grass fires.

“The wet weather has caused widespread vegetation growth which means we’re going into summer facing the most significant grass fire threat in more than a decade,” Mr Henskens said.

“All it takes is a few days of hot, dry, and windy conditions for grass fires to spark so it’s important that households and landholders prepare now and have a plan in place for what to do if an emergency takes hold.

Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience Steph Cooke said in addition to fire danger the summer months also bring a heightened risk of severe storms.

“We are enduring a third consecutive La Nina which has led to widespread severe storms and flooding, and unfortunately we could see more of this before the end of summer,” Ms Cooke said.

“As we have seen repeatedly this year an emergency can strike at any moment which is why we need to remain vigilant of the risks of severe weather.”

Mr Henskens said that following simple safety advice could be the difference between staying safe and catastrophe.

“Whether you’re spending the summer holiday season at home or travelling, I urge everybody to follow the key safety tips of preparing a bush fire survival plan, not driving through floodwaters, swimming between the flags and making sure your home is fire-safe,” Mr Henskens said.

“Being aware and prepared is a shared responsibility, so always think about the area you’re in and take the necessary precautions.”

Everyone is being urged to follow these 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: talk with your family and plan for what you will do if a disaster affects your area or where you plan to holiday this summer;
  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 where you intend to holiday this summer and connect with emergency services or keep on top of local news reports to stay informed; and
  5. Look out for each other: share information with your family, friends and neighbours.