How to prepare for a flood

Steve, Team Member
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How to prepare for a flood

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Floods can hit capital cities and regional towns across Australia. That’s why good preparation and planning is important when it comes to being ready. This guide gives you tips on what to take if you have to evacuate and what you’ll need once you’ve left. We also have advice for protecting household items and keeping floodwater out of your home.

Continue to step-by-step instructions

Step by Step Instructions

1 Prepare an emergency evacuation kit
2 Protect your personal possessions
3 Essential items
4 Protect electrical items at home
5 Know your escape route
6 Building or renovating
7 Prepare the outside of your house
8 Have your own power supply
  • Step 1. Prepare an emergency evacuation kit

    If you have to evacuate your home because of a flood, you are unlikely to have enough time to put together the things you need. Be prepared and have a large waterproof, plastic container with items you’ll need. This should include a first aid kit, canned food and bottled water, a torch with spare batteries, matches and sand bags if you need them.

  • Step 2. Protect your personal possessions

    Along with an evacuation kit, a waterproof/fireproof safe and another large plastic container are ideal for your personal possessions. They can contain passports, marriage and birth certificates, wills, children’s report cards, photo albums, vaccination records and home and content insurance documents. The safe and container are ideal for important or sentimental items or ones that can’t be easily replaced.
  • Step 3. Essential items

    As well as food, water, clothes and important documents there a lot of other essential items you should also have ready to go. A gas bottle with a cooking attachment will help cook food and boil water. You will also need a saucepan, cutlery and plates. Sleeping bags, towels and clothes are very handy. Another large water container would also be worthwhile. Packing a radio with spare batteries will let you stay up-to-date with the latest flood news.

  • Step 4. Protect electrical items at home

    Once you leave your home it’s unwise to return until the authorities have said it’s safe. An easy way to protect electrical items at home, such as TV’s, stereo’s and DVD players is to unplug them and place them on tables or benches, somewhere higher that will keep them out of the floodwater. Large electrical items like washing machines, dryers and if possible, fridges can be placed on bricks, to lift them off the ground.

  • Step 5. Know your escape route

    Once you’ve decide to leave your home because of rising floodwaters, it’s important to know exactly where you’re going and where is safe from the floods. If you have any pets, take them with you, if it’s possible, or work out what you’re going to do to make sure they’re safe.

  • Step 6. Building or renovating

    If you’re building or renovating in an area that might be prone to flooding, choose your floor surfaces to suit. Tiles are hard wearing, easier to clean and more resistant to floodwater than other floor surfaces.

  • Step 7. Prepare the outside of your house

    There are some easy things you can do to help protect your home from heavy rain and floodwater:

    • Make sure that the gutters are clean and the down pipes aren’t blocked.
    • If you have one, clean out the drainage system at the bottom of your driveway or anywhere else around your home.
    • Tidy up outside and remove any items that might be swept away and damage your home.
    • Fill sandbags and use them to divert water away from your home.
  • Step 8. Have your own power supply

    Even if your house hasn’t been flooded and you don’t have to evacuate, the authorities might still cut the power in your area. A generator gives you the ability to be able to run power to your home and keep your fridge or freezer running, and any other important electrical appliances. Make sure you have a long extension cord to run from the generator, into your home. You will also need a good supply of fuel to run the generator.
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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint Test.
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