The NSW State Emergency Service (SES) is reminding people to know their risk and have a plan for severe weather, as the Bureau of Meteorology officially declares a La Niña Watch.

The NSW SES is prepared for any potential impact of changing weather patterns as there are signs La Niña could return later this year, according to the Bureau.

NSW SES Director of Emergency Management, Assistant Commissioner Nicole Hogan said now was the time for people to review their emergency plans and know their risks should severe weather or flooding impact their community.

“While storms and flash flooding can happen at any time, if a La Niña weather pattern does return later this year it will be the fourth in as many years and we want the community to remain vigilant,” Assistant Commissioner Hogan said.

“La Niña weather events can bring above average rainfall, as we saw over the last couple of years with record flooding to many parts of NSW.”

“It is important to know your storm and flooding risk, have a plan in place, get your home ready, be aware of what you will do if disaster strikes, and look out for one another.

“Clean your gutters, downpipes and drains, secure and put away any loose items around your backyard and balcony, and trim trees and branches that could fall onto your home.

“People can learn their risks by visiting the NSW SES website, and you can stay up to date with emerging weather situations by downloading the Hazards Near Me app and setting watch zones for your local neighbourhood and those you may visit regularly.”

Assistant Commissioner Hogan said the Service was well prepared for future disasters as the lead agency for floods, storms and tsunamis.

“The NSW SES is ready to respond to any future floods and storms and we’ve boosted operational capabilities through training and an increase in vessels, flood rescue equipment, and high clearance vehicles over the past 12 months,” she said.

“During the past year alone, we’ve enhanced flood rescue capabilities and trained an additional 648 members in our suite of flood rescue course to ensure our personnel are skilled and ready to respond to flooding events.”

A volunteer recruitment campaign for new members is underway, encouraging people from all walks of life to considering joining the NSW SES.

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