SES predicts a summer of wild storms ahead

THE NSW State Emergency Service (SES) is urging everyone to stay storm safe this Christmas season, amidst the threat of severe storms to continue throughout summer.

The Bureau of Meteorology has predicted up to 100 storms will affect the state and the SES has already been responding to damaging storms in many areas of NSW.

Since the storm season began in October, SES volunteers have been called out to about 2,448 storm and flood jobs.

NSW SES deputy region controller Macquarie Region Phil Lalor said it was important for people to be extra vigilant over summer.

"With more people on the roads during the festive period it's vital that people remember to drive to the conditions in rough weather," he said.

"Delaying your travel plans until the weather clears is always your safest option."

Holiday-makers in particular, he said, should also be aware of the weather forecast in their area and have an emergency plan ready if a severe storm hits.

"Rivers, creeks and streams can rise quickly during storms so it's important particularly for campers to be aware of the conditions and move out of the area if bad weather sets in.

"By using a bit of common sense, you and your family can have a safe and enjoyable Christmas and New Year.

"If you come across a flooded road on your travels, don't drive through it."

He urged people to start preparing their homes and businesses now to limit the amount of damage suffered in a storm.

Some simple ways to prepare for an emergency include cleaning gutters and downpipes, trimming overhanging branches and securing or putting away loose items around the yard and balcony.

Preparing an emergency kit in case of a power shortage was also useful in case residents need to leave in a hurry.

Vehicles should be parked undercover or away from trees and power lines in an emergency.

For emergency assistance in a storm, call the NSW SES on 132 500.

Dial triple-0 in life-threatening situations.

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