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SES Flood Safety Advice

28 January 2012, 11:19AM AET

What you can do to prepare before there is a flood

Know your risk

  • Check with your local SES unit or on the SES website to find out if there is a local FloodSafe guide
  • Know the height at which your home, business and/or property could be affected by floodwater. Find out how deep the water could get in and around your property
  • Contact your local Council if you want more information on how flooding could directly affect your property

Know where to go

  • Find the safest route to travel in the event that you might need to evacuate and identify the height at which your evacuation route may be cut
  • Find out where any evacuation centres could be set up in your area. If you prefer, check with friends and relatives outside the flood prone area to organise a place to go

Know who to call

  • For emergency help in floods and storms, call the SES on 132 500
  • Keep local emergency numbers handy (near your phone or on your fridge)
  • In a life-threatening emergency, call 000 (triple zero)

Know your plan

  • To help households and businesses plan for flooding, the SES has developed Home and Business FloodSafe Toolkits
  • Review your plan annually to keep it up-to- date

Get your kit together

  • Put together an emergency kit for your home or business
  • If you are likely to be isolated by floodwater, have sufficient non-perishable food, essential medications, fuel and other necessities to last at least a week. Remember to include pet food and/or stock feed if required

During a flood

A Flood Watch is issued by the Bureau of Meteorology if flood producing rain is expected to happen in the near future. The general weather forecasts can also refer to flood producing rain. You should be prepared to act should flooding occur.

All:

  • Listen to your local radio station for information, updates and advice
  • Locate and check your Emergency Kit
  • Check on your neighbours and make sure they are aware of the Flood Watch
  • Never drive, ride or walk through floodwater
  • Locate and get ready to activate your Home or Business FloodSafe Plan  

Residents:

  • Locate pets. Prepare to take them with you or move them to higher ground

Business Owners and Managers:

  • Where possible, back up records and store off-site
  • Make preparations to raise or relocate stock, records and equipment
  • Find out about evacuation routes for your business and make sure your employees know when they are likely to close. This will ensure they can leave safely when a Flood Watch is issued

Rural Property Owners:

  • Relocate livestock and farm equipment, including pumps, to high ground
  • Check sheds and outbuildings
  • Equipment, feed and chemicals should be raised or moved to high ground
  • If isolation is likely, have sufficient non-perishable food, essential medications, fuel and other necessities to last at least a week. Remember to include pet food and/or stock feed if required

A Flood Warning is issued by the Bureau of Meteorology when flooding is about to happen or is happening. Flood Warnings provide a predicted flood level and time at which a river will reach that level.

Flood Warnings are issued in relation to flood gauges which are situated at a certain point on a river.

All:

  • Never drive, ride or walk through floodwater
  • Stack possessions, records, stock or equipment on benches and tables, placing electrical items on top
  • Secure objects that are likely to float and cause damage
  • Relocate waste containers, chemicals and poisons well above floor level
  • Activate your Home or Business FloodSafe Plan
  • Keep listening to your local radio station for information, updates and advice
  • Keep in contact with your neighbours
  • Be prepared to evacuate if advised by emergency services
  • Act early as roads may become congested or close

Rural Property Owners:

  • Lift farm items onto benches and tables, placing electrical items on top
  • Relocate waste containers, chemicals and poisons well above floor level
  • Relocate stock fodder to higher ground

After a flood

Severe weather and flash flooding can result in major damage to property, potentially causing a range of health and safety issues.

When returning to your property:

  • Ensure the structural stability of your property before entering. Check for damage to windows, walls and the roof and be especially cautious of potential contaminants including asbestos
  • Make sure the electricity and gas is turned off before going inside. Use a torch to carry out inspections inside buildings
  • If power points, electrical equipment, appliances or electrical hot water systems have been exposed to floodwater or are water damaged in any way, they must be inspected by a qualified electrician before use
  • Gas appliances and gas bottles that have been exposed to floodwater should be inspected for safety before use
  • Wear suitable protective clothing, including boots and gloves, when cleaning up
  • Be aware of any slip, trip or fall hazards
  • Never eat food which has been in contact with floodwater
  • Only use clean utensils and personal items
  • Have a supply of fresh drinking water

Disaster Recovery Centres may be established following some disasters. Recovery centres may provide a range of welfare services including financial assistance, personal support, organising temporary accommodation and providing information and referrals. If you have been affected by floods and require assistance, contact Disaster Welfare Services on 1800 018 444 

 

Never enter floodwater

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