During an Emergency
In an emergency it is often difficult to know what to do – people often feel confused and distressed and there are often many things happening at once.
No emergencies are identical to each other but there are often consistencies in how emergency services manage emergencies and keep people safe.
This page will provide some information on standard evacuation processes.
It is important to note that there is no guarantee that you will have prior warning of an emergency or that you will be personally contacted to evacuate.
If it is unsafe to remain in an area because of an emergency or natural disaster, the SES (or other emergency service) will issue an Evacuation Order advising people what to do and where to go.
The ways that you might be be alerted about the need to evacuate include:
- A knock on your front door by SES volunteers or other emergency services
- An automated telephone message
- Via SMS to your mobile phone
- Evacuation notices on television and radio
- Via safety Apps, such as Fires Near Me.
If you are in an area where an evacuation order has been issued, you should evacuate immediately.
If you can safely leave the area, you might want to stay with family or friends somewhere safer. You might also consider staying in a hotel or other paid accommodation.
If leaving the area is not possible, there will be designated evacuation centres set up that you can go to.
For more information, including how to make sure you know about evacuation centres and what happens at an evacuation centre, visit the Be ready for an Emergency Evacuation, part of Resilience NSW.
If you can’t evacuate
In some situations it might not be possible to evacuate, for example, if your home or street has been cut off by flood water or fallen trees.
The NSW SES has plans and checklists to help you stay safe if you are not able to evacuate and have to remain at home during an emergency.
NSW Health also has a resource which includes an Emergency Pantry List here.