Connected & Prepared – Community Emergency Response


The MVA took the initiative in 2019 to develop a Community Emergency Response Plan (CERP) to be implemented in case of emergencies, such as isolating floods and fires, in addition to more localised emergencies such as power and communication outages, fallen trees etc. 

In our role of lobby group, a key part of this plan is to continue to put pressure on outside agencies (Council, BoM, Endeavour Energy, Telstra etc) to remind them we exist. We need flood mapping completed by the Council and proper collection, forecasting and dissemination of flood information by BoM about the Macdonald Valley. 


We are setting up a team of Wardens to manage small areas within the six sectors of the valley:

  1. St Albans Road 
  2. Webbs Creek
  3. Settlers Road / Wrights Creek
  4. St Albans Village
  5. Wolombi Rd
  6. Upper Macdonald Road

The wardens are  part of a Whats App group that proved very successful in the  2022 flood events. Information can be disseminated quickly and then passed by wardens to isolated neighbours to ensure everyone is connected and looked after.

The result of this warden network so far has been a demonstrable improvement in communications with, and action by, The SES, Council(s), Local Police, Endeavour Energy and even Telstra.

Now UHF Radios are in place (see below) this communication task will become much easier and more reliable, not needing to rely on generators and satellite internet to communicate.

Useful Information and Links
Bureau of Meteorology 
This is the ultimate source of weather information which is then disciminated by other agencies

Local SES and RFS Facebook sites
which do carry some localised information for provisions and welfare:
* Wisemans Ferry RFS –
* Lower Macdonald RFS –
* Hawkesbury SES –
* Hills SES –


Macdonald Valley Community
Rainfall and River heights 
Ferry & Roads 
For emergency help in floods and storms, call NSW SES on 132 500. If life-threatening, call 000 (Triple Zero). 
Useful Resources and Reminders
    • EmergencyPlus app – The Emergency+ app is a free app developed by Australia’s emergency services and their Government and industry partners.  The app uses GPS functionality built into smart phones to help a Triple Zero (000) caller provide critical location details required to mobilise emergency services
    • Fires Near Me – and remember to set a Watch Zone locally or if you are travelling.  You can select a radius to keep watch on.and this means you’ll receive notifications for that distance from the location you drop the pin.
    • BOM – BOM Weather app for access to hourly and 7-day forecasts, radar and warnings
    • SES –
    • RFS – 
Grant Funding

In February 2022 the MVA heard that we were successful in our bid for $280,227.00 in federal funding under the Black Summer Bushfire Grant Program.

This funding is to be used over 2-3 years to build a more resilient and better equipped Macdonald Valley community, to better cope with the impact of emergencies and disasters.  The project aims to address major communication problems highlighted by the he 2019/20 bushfires and subsequent major flood events. We will:

  1. Create A Residents UHF Radio (CB Radio) network and equip each property to enable an alternate valley-wide communications relay conduit.
  2. Provide Emergency Kit Bags, ready with items that will help residents survive and sustain initial recovery from a disaster.
  3. Provide a unique Community Emergency Response Plan (CERP) to each property.

The Grant application was prepared by the MVA’s Community Emergency Response Plan (CERP) sub-committee members Lewis Adey, Stephen Brown, Peter Hunter and Veronica Hunter, with input and expertise from the RFS, SES and many members of the community.

In February 2022 we announced: The MVA welcomes the investment in this simple lo-tech, community run, potentially life-saving solution. This will go some way to address significant communication issues in our valley; no mobile coverage and power dependent landline and internet . These inadequacies were critically exposed during recent fire and flood emergencies.

In March 2022 we received the first funding from the government and have now appointed a Project Manager (Stephen Brown) and Technical Advisor (Brad Stapleton of ESSCOM).

There is a grant sub-committee comprising Stephen Brown, Peter Hunter, Len Dragsund and Lewis Adey.

Residents Radio Network

UHF radios have proven themselves as a useful communication tool during emergency events and telecommunications failures throughout the various valley areas.

The MVA Connected and Prepared Team aims to promote their use and improve the UHF infrastructure for future emergency and communications blackouts.

We’ve seen how useful they have been already:
• Adopting UHF Channel 9, used in welfare checks from RFS crews to local householders, during the 2019-20 bushfires
• Neighbour-to-Neighbour networks in parts of the valley for catch-ups and chats
• Relaying of messages when phone lines have been out in parts of the valley
• Safety at home when out and about on your property
• Promoting UHF Channel 9 potential for SES to connect locally in flood activities

Residents Radio Network Rollout
A total of 450 hand held UHF radios and 21 fixed base stations for wardens and black spots have now been procured.
All radios have now been distributed and most base stations have been set up. 
Every residence in the valley will have a UHF hand held radio for use in emergencies (except in high density areas such as Walmsly Rd). 
If you do not have a radio contact your local warden. Ask your warden if you have any questions regarding its operation or see the videos below. 

Grab Bags

Emergency Grab Bags (comprising a first aid kit, radio/torch/charger, v-sheet and your Emergency Property Plan) have now been given to wardens to hand out to every residence in the Macdonald Valley and Webbs Creek.


In late 2021 we produced a survey to help with our knowledge of the valley and the areas that become isolated. This has informed the creation of sectors, sub-sectors and islands, resulting in the Warden system being set up to look after these local areas.

The information has been incorporated junto a master spread sheet for use by wardens and other emergency agencies. 

Privacy of Information is paramount. All information is held in confidence on a single secure spreadsheet, accessible only by key MVA Wardens and one SES official. Information will only be supplied to nominated local RFS and SES officials as required in an emergency situation. Information will not be shared with Council.

You can of course have access to all information relating to your own property. 

Latest Updates, Meeting Minutes and Survey Summary

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