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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are some easy things you can do to help protect your home from heavy rain and floodwater:
Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. 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.
When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.