REVEALED: Is your suburb the worst place to weather a storm?
NEW data over the 2019-20 financial year has revealed the Mid North Coast was one of the most storm affected region in NSW, with Coffs Harbour and South Grafton among some of the most severely impacted suburbs
The analysis of NRMA Insurance claims data has found NSW experienced one of its most intense storm seasons, with over half (54 per cent) of all home claims in the 2019-20 financial year caused by storm damage.
A total of five per cent of all storm claims in NSW came from the Mid North Coast region, with Coffs Harbour the third most impacted suburb and South Grafton coming in at sixth on the list. Woolgoolga and Boambee East made it in to ninth and tenth places on the list.
With storms lashing the north of the state over the past few days, NRMA Insurance executive general manager claims, Luke Gallagher said this storm season, which stretches from October to March each year, could be a bad one.
“With Australia currently experiencing a La Niña weather system, we could see more severe storms and more intense rain hitting NSW throughout storm season this year,” he said.
“The fact that over a million households in NSW may not be prepared for severe weather and dangerous storms this summer is a major concern.”
Community research from NRMA Insurance reveals nearly two-thirds (62 per cent) of NSW residents are worried severe weather such as storms are becoming more frequent and intense, however the anxiety isn’t being translated into action.
Only 57 per cent feel their home and family are prepared for severe weather this summer, and just 35 per cent have recently taken steps to prepare. This means more than 1.3 million households may be unprepared for severe weather this summer.
“We know that two in three NSW residents are yet to take steps to prepare their home for severe weather, so we’ve teamed up with NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES) to ask people to complete one task every month to help make their homes safer,” Mr Gallagher said.
“We urge NSW residents to put aside some time over the weekend to get ready for storms by clearing their gutters and downpipes. Gutters are one of the first parts of your home to flood in a storm so taking time now to prepare could make a big difference when a storm hits. Please be careful though, and if in doubt, hire a professional.”
NSW SES Commissioner Carlene York said severe weather can happen at any time, so readiness is crucial.
“Our volunteers are always ready to spring into action and help when needed,” Commissioner York said.
“But it is equally important that communities do their part to make sure they themselves are prepared. Simple steps like removing loose items from your front and back yards, keeping cars away from trees and powerlines, or undercover where possible, and being equipped with an emergency kit can make all the difference.
“I encourage everyone to visit our website at ses.nsw.gov.au for resources and information on preparing yourself for storms and floods.
“If anyone needs help in a storm or flood, they can contact NSW SES on 132 500. If the situation is life threatening, call triple-0 immediately,” she said.