Emergency planning and recovery

Planning During Recovery How to help

Emergency Dashboard

Council's Emergency Dashboard includes:

  • status for weather warnings
  • road closures
  • power outages
  • water and sewer interruptions
  • Council services and facilities.

Council is not the main authority in emergencies.

Listen to the emergency radio broadcaster, ABC North Coast, on FM 94.5 or AM 720.

For life-threatening emergencies call 000.

Emergency contacts 

View emergency numbers and links below. View Council's contact details.

Flood, weather and radio

State Emergency Services (SES) 132 500
www.ses.nsw.gov.au

ABC Radio North Coast FM 94.5 - 1300 659 994
www.abc.net.au/northcoast

Bureau of Meteorology (BOM)
www.bom.gov.au

Road information and closures

Types of emergency

Below are some of the emergency events that could happen here in the Tweed.

Also see Guide to Natural Disasters in NSW(PDF, 1MB)

Bushfires

Bushfire Cabarita A bushfire is a fire that burns in grass, bush or woodland and can threaten life, property and the environment.

See bushfires

The intensity of a bushfire depends on the type and volume of vegetation being burnt, the location, the weather conditions and time of year. The statutory Bush Fire Danger Period runs from 1 September to 31 March.

In order to limit the number of fires that escape and threaten life, property and the environment, especially on days when it is very hot, dry and windy, the NSW Rural Fire Service can restrict the use of fire through fire permits and total fire bans.

If you need to burn within the bushfire danger period you must obtain a Fire Permit. Even if you have been issued with a Fire Permit, you must check the RFS website before burning to ensure that there are no current fire bans.

Use the Total Fire Ban and Current Fire Danger Map to find today's fire danger rating for your area, and whether a total fire ban is in effect.

For further advice and information on preparing for the bush fire season or how to become a local RFS volunteer can be obtained from your local Fire Control Centre by phoning Far North Coast on 02 6671 5500 or by visiting the RFS website.

You can also view the RFS Prepare. Act. Survive. Video.

Further Information

Bush Fire Survival Plan
Plan ahead to give yourself, your family and your home the best chance of survival.

Bush Fire Fact Sheets
A wealth of information from the Rural Fire Service about bush fire preparedness.

Bush Fire Household Assessment Tool
Make an informed decision regarding your ‘Leave Early' or 'Stay and Defend’ choice for this bush fire season.

Bush Fires and Permits
Find out whether you need a Fire Permit and how to contact the Rural Fire Service to obtain one.

Earthquakes

An earthquake is a sudden shaking of the ground caused by rocks breaking under stress, deep within the earth.

The size of the earthquake is called its 'magnitude' and this is measured and recorded by an instrument called a 'seismograph', using the Richter scale.

Generally, earthquakes with a magnitude of 3.4 or less on this scale cause very little damage and are felt by only a few people near where the earthquake originated within the Earth - the epicentre. The most severe earthquakes recorded so far have not exceeded 9.5 on this scale.

In the last 80 years, there have been 17 earthquakes in Australia registering 6.0 or more on the Richter scale. While this is relatively few compared to other parts of the world, it is important to be aware of the potentially devastating effects of an earthquake and to be prepared.

You can see the location and magnitude of recent earthquakes using interactive mapping provided by Geoscience Australia.

Further Information

Geoscience Australia
Find out more about earthquakes including causes, hazards and monitoring.

Flooding

Local flooding Murwillumbah A flood can be defined as water inundating land that is normally dry.

As in much of Australia, flooding is familiar occurrence in the Tweed, particularly during the wet season from November to April.

Because of the Tweed's hilly topography, heavy rainfall drains quickly into creeks and rivers draining to the coast, causing flooding in low-lying areas.

Flash floods pose the greatest threat to life and property, because of their rapid onset and unpredictability. These localised events are a particularly serious problem in urban areas where short, intense bursts of rainfall overwhelm drainage systems.

Both types of flooding can happen quickly and with little warning, so it is important not to be prepared and not to become complacent about flood safety. Most flood-related deaths result when people attempt to drive, walk, swim or play in floodwaters. Depth and current are easily misjudged and floodwater will sweep away and submerge even very large vehicles.

The Bureau of Meteorology provides a flood warning service for major rivers in Australia, including the Tweed River. If you are unsure of how to read the BoM website, please refer to the BOM - How to Guide(PDF, 71KB) for instructions.

Never drive through or enter flood waters. During periods of heavy rain, please refer to the MyRoadInfo website to safely plan your travels and avoid unnecessary harm.

During flood events sewer systems might fill up with storm water, causing the system to overflow. For information on what to do in case of a sewer overflow see Sewer Overflows and Odours.

Further Information

NSW SES Flood Safe
For everything you need to know about staying safe from floods, including what do to before, during and after these events.

National Flood Warning - Rainfall and River Information
Up to date mapping of rainfall and river conditions across Australia.

RTA - Live Traffic Info
Up to date information on incidents and conditions to help motorists make the best possible travel decision 

Storms, lightning and cyclones

Extensive damage Oxley Cove During the summer months from November to April, the Tweed region is susceptible to heavy rains, severe thunderstorms and cyclones. These events can produce damaging hail, flash flooding, lightning and gale force winds.

A tropical cyclone is a low pressure system that forms over warm tropical waters and has destructive wind gusts in excess of 90 kilometres per hour. It is important to remember that during the passage of the eye at the cyclone's centre there will be a temporary lull in the wind, but that this will soon be followed by destructive winds from another direction.

Potentially the most dangerous hazard associated with tropical cyclones is storm surge. As a cyclone makes landfall, strong onshore winds and/or low atmospheric pressure causes a rise in water level, typically about two to five metres higher than the normal tide level.

Cyclone storm surge   

See the Bureau of Meteorology for current advice on forecast weather conditions including rainfall and cyclones.

Further Information

NSW SES Storm Safe
For everything you need to know about staying safe from storms, including what do to before, during and after these events.

Download the Storm Safe app for iPhone or Android phones.

NSW SES Cyclone Safety
Information to help you understand and prepare for a tropical cyclone.

Tsunami

A tsunami is a series of ocean waves with very long wavelengths (typically hundreds of kilometres) travelling across the ocean (not related to tides). They are most commonly caused by an underwater earthquake, although can also be the result of landslide, volcanic eruption, ocean meteorite impacts and/or explosions. In the past, tsunamis have been referred to as 'tidal waves' however this is incorrect as tsunamis are unrelated to the tides.

While tsunamis have the potential to cause significant impacts to low-lying areas of the Australian coast, most are small and present little threat to our coastal communities. The NSW coastline has been subject to more than 30 tsunami events over the past 200 years, but these have generally been too small to be noticed.

The Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre is operated by the Bureau of Meteorology and Geoscience Australia to monitor, verify and warn the community of any tsunami threat to the coastline of Australia and its offshore territories.

Further Information

Tsunami FAQs
Answers to questions about tsunamis, how they are caused, warning signs and what to do in case of a tsunami emergency.