3. Turn off power and gas
When dealing with potential flooding, the NSW State Emergency Service suggests to immediately disconnect your electricity, gas and water for safety reasons. Check with your electricity, water and gas providers on their recommended action plan.
4. Minimise damage
If your home floods, you can reduce the amount of damage by emptying freezers and refrigerators, leaving the doors open, and stack your belongings onto beds and tables, and into roof spaces if available, as summarised by Department of Fire & Emergency Services - Prepare for flooding.
You might want to think about securing anything above floor level that’s likely to float and cause extra damage, such as contamination of flood waters by any chemicals, poisons or waste as advised by the VIC State Emergency Service.
To help prevent a backflow of sewage, you could place a strong bag filled with sand or earth in toilet bowls and over shower and bath drains.
5. Make an evacuation plan
Check with your local council about safe routes and evacuation centres – so you know where to go if your home is no longer safe. It’s a good idea for all family members to be aware of the evacuation plan, and how you will find each other if you become separated.
6. Decide what to take
Where possible, you can prepare an emergency kit in advance, including first aid and medications, a torch, food and water, blankets and dry clothing, and important documents. Store any documents or photographs in a waterproof bag to help protect them from water damage.
7. Stay safe
Your safety is paramount and it’s important not to compromise this at any time. While you may want to protect your home and belongings, consider, what you need to prioritise if the flood is advancing.
As advised by the NSW State Emergency Services, it’s not considered safe to walk or drive in floodwaters. As well as hidden hazards and contamination, there’s the risk of being swept away.
8. Check your insurance
Check your home insurance regularly and ensure your cover is adequate and up to date. This can include checking if your insurance policy includes flood as a standard insured event.