As soon as the panorama outside her window turns yellow as the canola springs up from the earth, Regina Baaijens knows she needs to prepare.
Her lifelong struggle with asthma and hayfever have become infinitely worse since she immigrated to Australia several years ago.
"It's something I've had since childhood but it's always come and gone," she said.
"In 2008 when I moved to New Zealand and then came to Australia it got really bad."
Ms Baaijens has had to learn to better manage her symptoms, but it has taken a few life-threatening situations to get to this point.
"Once in New Zealand I couldn't breathe at all, it was scary," she said.
"There have been other times when I've been unable to sleep, and just coughing so much."
Ms Baaijens now has a standing appointment with her doctor each year, for when the winter weather turns to spring's blossom.
"At this time of the year, the doctors tell me to take a double dosage of the medication," she said.
"Already I've started noticing it this week, but I don't have to worry any more, I feel protected.
"But I have to be careful in winter too, asthmatics are more susceptible to the flu because we already have respiratory problems. Now I get the vaccine each year, there's no point risking it."
As an extra preventative, Ms Baaijens has signed up for Wagga's pollen alert.
Run by Dr Bruce Graham, adjunct professor at Charles Sturt University, the SMS system notifies subscribers of impending thunderstorm asthma danger.
With his personal Burkard Machine, Dr Graham has been counting pollen levels every day during spring since 1998.
This year, Charles Sturt University and the Asthma Foundation of Australia have signed on to help purchase another two machines that will be stationed around the city.
"If we can get them all working together around the city, we've got a better chance of understanding the kinds of pollens that exist around different parts," Dr Graham said.
"One year, we had [a Burkard machine] out at the [CSU] pharmacy lab and there was so much pine from the hill, it was a completely different reading to my own in Gurwood Street."
Primarily in Wagga and the Riverina, ryegrass causes the greatest irritation to respiratory sufferers. But Dr Graham said the activity of the irritants can be deceptive.
"It's interesting to see whether it's an artefact of the weather changes that are triggering people's asthma," he said.
"Sometimes when the wind changes, it blows up the pollen from the ground into the air. So even though those pollens were active two weeks ago, they're now creating a problem."
Dr Graham is unable to count how many lives might have been saved through his early warning system.
But said that the prevalence of dangerous conditions in the Riverina can easily lead to a re-occurence of the deadly 2016 storm asthma attacks in Melbourne.
As such, Megan Smith Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science at CSU, said it was important for people to remain vigilant and avoid complacency.
"The incident in Melbourne really brought up the consciousness of this and the importance of preparing," she said.
"After that incident, Melbourne actually took on Wagga's model of alerting the community, to try to safeguard any future attacks."