Prepare for floods

Floods can occur at any time, although they are more common in Queensland during the summer months, and are usually associated with tropical cyclones. Mother Nature likes to demonstrate just who's in charge through the dangerous and destructive floods we experience. By following some common-sense guidelines and creating a Harden Up plan,  you can keep your family safe, and minimise loss and damage to property.

From an insurance perspective there are different types of floods that might affect your home and contents. Be sure to review your flood insurance and clarify what types of flood your insurance covers.

Make sure that your Emergency Plan and Emergency Kit are up-to-date and that each member of your family or household knows what to do in an emergency. Remind everyone about the location of your Emergency Kit. Develop an Evacuation Plan with your family or household. Identify the nearest high ground and the safest routes to that place. Await advice from local authorities about the need to evacuate.

If you live in a flood-prone area:

  • Store all poisons above ground level in case of flash flooding
  • Identify which indoor items you will need to raise or empty if flooding threatens your home (e.g. freezers and  refrigerators)
  • Check your home and contents, and car insurance policy covers you for all types of flood damage
  • Consider installing alternatives to carpet floor coverings (e.g. removable rugs and tiles), and relocating your electrical sockets and power points well above floor level.

If your home is at risk of inundation, you will be advised by local authorities about whether you should evacuate, or remove your household items, such as furniture, electrical appliances and belongings, or raise items to a second floor or up high.


What can you do to prepare for floods:
    •    Complete a Harden Up plan
    •    Ask your council about local flood plans, which detail problem areas and evacuation routes and centres
    •    Prepare an Emergency Plan and Emergency Kit

What to do when you hear a flood warning:
    •    Listen to your local ABC radio station for flood advice and warnings
    •    Plan to move vehicles, outdoor equipment, garbage, chemicals, and poisons to higher ground
    •    Plan which indoor items you will raise or empty if water threatens your home (e.g. freezers and refrigerators)                 •    Check your emergency kit and safeguard your pets.

What to do if you need to evacuate:
    •    Pack warm clothing, essential medications, valuables, personal papers, mobile phone, photos and                                      mementos in waterproof bags to be taken with your emergency kit

    •    Raise furniture, clothing and valuables on to beds, tables and into roof spaces
    •    Empty freezers and refrigerators, leaving doors open
    •    Turn off power, water and gas
    •    Whether you leave or stay, shove a sandbag down each toilet bowl and over all laundry and bathroom drain                    holes to prevent sewage back-flow

    •    Lock your home and take recommended evacuation routes for your area, and
    •    Don't drive in water of unknown depth and current.

What do you do if you stay or on your return:
    •    Listen to your local ABC radio station for official advices and warnings
    •    Don't allow children to play in, or near flood waters
    •    Avoid entering floodwaters. If you must, wear solid shoes and check depth and current with a stick
    •    Stay away from drains, culverts, and water more than knee-deep
    •    Don't use gas or electrical appliances that have been in flood water until checked for safety
    •    Don't eat food that has been in flood waters, and
    •    Boil tap water until supplies have been declared safe.