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How to prepare for a flood

Simple steps you can take now to help you prepare for flooding.

In an emergency, we all need someone to turn to.

There are four key steps to staying safe and preparing for a flood. 



Get in the know about your flood risk and plan your alerts

Floods are unpredictable and destructive. They can happen anywhere in Australia after flash flooding from heavy rain or from overflowing rivers, creeks or the ocean.

In an emergency, things can change quickly. 

It’s important to have reliable, current information from a trusted source. Here are links to your state-based emergency responder.

Other recommended sources of up-to-date information are the ABC Emergency page and Bureau of Meteorology weather warnings online.



Get connected and plan who you will need to find in a flood emergency

In an emergency, you’ll need to contact some key people. Identify who they are and what you need from them. Also think about where your emergency meeting place will be. 

  • Swap phone numbers with a neighbour or other local contact you can reach out to in an emergency.
  • Follow your local area social media feeds to connect with people in your community.
  • Make sure your family and other key contacts know where you intend to go if your home is flooded and what plan you will make to meet them there.
  • Know the plans of your children’s school or care centre if there is an emergency.
  • Plan for where your pets or animals might need to go if there is flooding.



Get organised and save or store important personal documents

Important personal and insurance documents will make recovery following a flood easier.

Here's an important documents checklist that could help prove your identity and property ownership:

  Drivers licence
  Birth certificates
  Marriage certificate
  Medical documentation
  Property titles
  Bank and financial documents
  Insurance documents

Tip: Ask your doctor to store important medical information, including the names and doses of medications.



Get packing for the flood emergency and beyond

Pack your important documents, prepare a survival kit and think about precious items that will be important to your recovery.

Important documents can be scanned and loaded onto a laptop or hard drive, or copied and kept safe in a waterproof bag or box.

A Survival kit includes things you’ll need if there’s no safe drinking water, if roads are cut off, shops closed and power down. Here's a checklist to get yours started:

  Mobile phone
  Chargers and batteries
  Medicines and first aid supplies
  Protective clothing
  Non-perishable food
  Hand sanitizer

Recovery items are familiar possessions that give you comfort. They can include:

  Sentimental items, like photos, jewellery, family memorabilia.
  Children’s most-loved toys.
  Laptops and chargers. Laptops are useful for storing scanned documents, for staying connected, for entertainment and to archive photos.

Pack up your home

  • Move what you can to a higher place.
  • Empty freezers and refrigerators and leave doors open.
  • Turn off power, water and gas.
  • Put sand bags in the toilet bowl and over all laundry/bathroom drain holes to stop sewage flowing back inside.
  • Lock your home, but leave gates open to allow flood waters to flow freely.

Tip: don’t walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Cars can float in as little as 30 cm of water.

Get Prepared app

Build and keep your emergency plan close at hand with our app.