How NSW SES plans for floods

Flood Planning and  Intelligence

Flood Planning
The NSW SES undertakes flood planning as a legislative responsibility to determine how to best respond to floods as the combat agency.

The NSW State Flood Plan outlines arrangements for responding to floods in NSW.

Local Flood Plans (LFP) are subordinate plans of the Emergency Management Plan (EMPLAN) which describes emergencies and the responsible combat and support agencies. The LFP describes the risk to the community, outlines roles and responsibilities for the NSW SES and supporting agencies and describes how the NSW SES will manage flood events.

Flood Intelligence
Flood intelligence describes flood behaviour and its effects on the community.

Flood effects include:

  • Inundation (leading to a need for evacuation, property protection and/or rescue) 
  • Isolation (creating risk to life and the need for resupply and/or rescue)
  • Disruption to community activities (for example because of the loss of electricity supply or transport routes)

Flood intelligence is obtained by gathering and assessing information, over the full range of possible flood types and severity, so that the likely effects of developing floods can be assessed.

Intelligence is used to facilitate operational decision making and the provision of warnings and information to agencies and the public.

Flood intelligence enables the NSW SES to determine (from predicted flood heights and an understanding of community needs and characteristics), the likely impacts of flooding, what actions will need to be taken by response agencies and what information and advice should be provided to community members.

Conducting post flood data collection surveys are part of gathering flood intelligence.

Post Flood Data and Flood Intelligence Review Projects

Shortly after a flood has occurred and when it is determined that there are gaps in data and/or flood intelligence, and this information is required for effective incident control of future floods, an external consultant may be engaged to undertake a detailed compilation of flood data and review of flood intelligence.

The SES uses a project management approach to engage such consultants and works collaboratively with the Office of Environment and Heritage to engage the most suitable from a list of recommended consultants.

The outputs of these projects will be used to improve flood intelligence on an area, so that consequences to the communities from flooding are understood for future floods.

More information on current reviews below:

Murray and Murrumbidgee Region Flood Intelligence Collection and Review Following the 2010 Floods