Infrastructure NSW, Resilience NSW and NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES) have together won the national Emergency Media and Public Affairs award for ‘Excellence in Readiness & Resilience’ for ‘Floods. What’s your plan?’ targeting residents of the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley.
The campaign, which ran from October to December 2021, encouraged community members to know the early signs of potential flooding and have a plan in place to respond, using channels including social media, radio and print advertising to get the message out.
Due to its unique landscape and large existing population, the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley has the highest unmitigated flood risk exposure in Australia.
Floodwaters in the valley can be extensive and deeper than other floodplains in Australia, and have a significant impact on lives, livelihoods, homes and critical infrastructure.
NSW SES Commissioner Carlene York said it is important for residents in the floodplain to be prepared to evacuate safely.
“The objective of the campaign was to normalise preparation and make the key steps accessible showing people and explaining the benefits of preparation, and easy steps to take,” Commissioner York said.
Commissioner York further explained it was timely the campaign was delivered before the most recent flood event.
“Due to the Bureau of Meteorology’s long-range weather forecast and the La Nina weather pattern, along with Sydney’s reservoirs at near-full capacity, we knew there was an increased risk of flooding for Spring/Summer 2021-22,” Commissioner York said.
Resilience NSW Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said it’s an honour to receive this award alongside Infrastructure NSW and the NSW SES.
“Collectively it is our role to help communities prepare for the future and this award acknowledges the importance of preparing for potential flooding and other disasters,” Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.