Orange residents already knew the past winter was a bad one but there's now data to back that up. The NRMA last week revealed their home and motor insurance claims figures for June-August 2022 with two Central West cities ranking inside the top 10 in NSW. Orange placed ninth in the state for claims while Dubbo was ranked fourth overall. The rankings come off the back of what the NRMA labelled the 'worst winter since 2016' with 25,515 claims made nationally. Almost two thirds (62 per cent) of home claims came as a direct result of wild weather, well above the winter average of 49 per cent. The winter numbers are an accurate reflection of the lived experience for residents this year. A huge hail storm hit Orange in August while in April, Orange SES responded to dozens of calls following damage caused by a storm. Just last week, SES performed 19 rescues across the Central West as flooding swept through the region. There is better news when it comes to wild weather preparedness with Western NSW (which includes Orange, Dubbo and Bathurst) improving in 2022. Based on the NRMA's wild weather ready score the region increased to 63 in 2022 from 52 in 2021, moving up five places to sit sixth best in the state. That position will need to keep growing with a third consecutive La Nina declared for spring and summer. NRMA meteorologist Dr Bruce Buckley urged residents to not rest on their laurels. "NSW residents need to be aware that more wild weather is on the way, with above normal rainfall forecast through spring and into summer," he said. "This includes an increased risk of east coast lows, which produce heavy rain and gale force winds, as well as an increased risk of hail-producing thunderstorms for much of the state. "This is a rare coincidence of climate drivers that favour bursts of very heavy rainfall capable of producing flash and river flooding through spring and early summer." "It's important to do what you can to protect yourself and your property, and clearing your gutters and downpipes is one of the best things you can do ahead of a storm."