WILD weather that whipped through Newcastle last week has prompted warnings from authorities to batten down.
Thunderstorms last Wednesday caused flash flooding in The Junction and Newcastle West, with winds reaching 78km/h and 14 millimetres of rain falling in just 10 minutes.
NSW SES media officer Garry Luxton said wind damage was one of the most destructive storm elements and residents should act now as storms occur more frequently in the coming months.
The NSW SES wants to limit the amount of damage caused by windstorms, encouraging people to "trim it, tie it and tuck it away".
The NSW SES attended to 15,912 storm jobs last season.
"Our volunteers have seen it all, so they make very knowledgeable coaches when it comes to home preparation for wild weather," Mr Luxton said.
For emergency help in storms and floods call the NSW SES on 132 500. Go to stormsafe.com.au for more advice.
Some basic steps people can follow to prepare for the storm season include:
■ Secure or store loose items around the yard or on the balcony
■ Trim overhanging tree branches
■ Clean your gutters and downpipes every six months
■ Ensure your drains are free from blockages so water can flow easily when there is rain
■ Check that your roof is in good repair
■ Make sure your insurance is up-to-date
■ Prepare your emergency kit.