Misconceptions cleared

Shellharbour City State Emergency Service (SES) unit at Albion Park Tom Nicolls, Dirk Littooy and Kristy Chie. Picture: ELIZA WINKLER

Shellharbour City State Emergency Service (SES) unit at Albion Park Tom Nicolls, Dirk Littooy and Kristy Chie. Picture: ELIZA WINKLER

DURING the recent strong winds that hit the region, the Shellharbour City State Emergency Service (SES) responded to many calls for assistance.

According to the unit, some callers had misconceptions about the type of work that the service undertakes during storms.

Local controller Terrie-Ann Hurt said the unit was responsible for ensuring the safety of residents and the general public.

"Our volunteers can carry out temporary repairs to damaged property and clear access to properties if they are blocked in some way. However, we won't remove the debris once they are made safe," she said.

"After the storms, property owners have to organise professional tradespeople to carry out permanent repairs.

"Quite often, as was the case in the most recent storms, Shellharbour City Council will allow excessive garden debris to be disposed at the waste depot for free."

Assistance undertaken by the SES includes placing covers on damaged roofs, rescuing people trapped or injured by storm activity, giving safety advice and ensuring the safety of properties, roads and buildings.

"If debris isn't blocking your access to your property, isn't in danger of destroying any buildings and isn't endangering the safety of others, then the NSW SES may not be required.

"However, if in doubt, get us to check it out," Ms Hurt said.

See panel above for tips on preparing for the next storm.

Eight simple steps to ensure you are prepared:

1) Maintaining your yard to ensure nothing can become a projectile in high winds (including securing trampolines)

2) Clean gutters and downpipes to prevent blockages

3) Trim trees and branches that could potentially fall on buildings

4) Fix any damage to your roof including broken or missing tiles

5) Check your insurance policy is current and provides adequate protection

6) Make a home emergency plan

7) Prepare an emergency kit

8) Listen to the local radio stations or keep up to date with other media outlets for weather warnings.

For more information, visit the NSW SES StormSafe website stormsafe.com.au and for emergency help contact 132 500.

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