SUMMER SEASON LAUNCH

Member for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser encourages members of the community to look out for one another this holiday season.

“Today marks the first official day of summer, and while this is a time for celebration, it is also disaster season and unfortunately a period when tragic accidents can happen,” Mr Fraser said.

“We are enormously grateful for the incredible job our emergency services do, but we cannot become complacent during this time. We have a shared responsibility to know our risks and be prepared.”

Minister for Police and Minister for Emergency Services Troy Grant said now is the time to get ready.

“Whether you are staying home this Christmas season or getting away to enjoy all NSW has to offer, the message remains the same: get ready, act responsibly and look out for those around you,” Mr Grant said.

“Do not let poor planning or careless behaviour ruin what should be a time for celebration and fun. Make this summer memorable for all the right reasons.”

These are some of the easy steps you can take to help protect your loved ones and property this summer:

Be aware – check the NSW Emergency Services website for live updates and download the Emergency + app. The Emergency + app tells users when they should call Triple Zero (000) and who to call in non-emergency situations. It also helps dial the number and shows the phone’s GPS co-ordinates for the caller to read out to the operator;

Plan now – get your property ready by trimming trees, clearing yards and cleaning gutters and drains. Always have reliable transport organised including a designated driver for your car or boat;

Know your risk – stop and consider what disasters might impact you and your family, don’t mix drugs and alcohol with swimming, always wear a life jacket if on a watercraft or out rock fishing, and never drive through flood waters;

Look out for each other – share your plans with loved ones, assist vulnerable people in severe weather, especially the elderly, and always supervise children around water.

Tragically, last summer there were 41 drowning deaths in NSW and 75 people lost their lives on our roads.

Over the same period, the state experienced over 4,800 bush and grass fires. Eight of these fires and two severe storms resulted in natural disaster declarations. Both the NSW Rural Fire Service and NSW State Emergency Service have already issued warnings that NSW will likely experience bushfire conditions and severe weather events over the summer.

For more information on how you can get ready and prepare for a safe summer, visit www.emergency.nsw.gov.au/getready