The countdown to storm season is under way and the NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES) has one question for its communities - will you be prepared when it arrives?
The Bureau of Meteorology has advised that the 2021/22 storm season, which traditionally runs from October to March each year, is likely to bring similar conditions to what was experienced last season.
NSW SES Commissioner Carlene York said this means Sutherland and St George could once again experience severe weather, including heavy rain and riverine and flash flooding.
"During the previous storm season, we experienced major floods right across the state," Commissioner York said.
"In fact, it wasn't long ago our volunteers responded to the major flooding event that overwhelmed communities across the Hawkesbury-Nepean, Hunter and Mid North Coast.
"That event alone saw us respond to more than 14,000 requests for assistance, including more than 1000 flood rescues."
St George and Sutherland Shire was the sixth most impacted region by severe storms in NSW last year and the season ranked the worst autumn in five years, according to seasonal home claims data from NRMA Insurance.
Commissioner York said events such as these should remind residents to take preparing for storms and floods seriously.
"The more you can do now to prepare, the less likely you'll end up needing emergency assistance from our volunteers when these weather events hit," she said.
"Our website has everything you could possibly need to learn about your risk of floods and the dangers they bring.
"It also highlights the simple, yet effective, things you can do ahead of time.
"From preparing an emergency evacuation kit, making sure your gutters and downpipes are clear, to planning for your animals, you can find all this information and more via ses.nsw.gov.au."
For emergency assistance in storms or floods, call 132 500. If the situation is life-threatening, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.