Before the Flood

  • Listen to your radio.
  • Heed all warnings and advice.
  • If you are sandbagging your property, visit the SES website to make sure you are doing it properly.


If a flood comes

  • Collect your emergency evacuation kit and listen to the radio for official advice.
  • Anchor down anything which might float away.
  • Switch off electricity and gas if you must leave home.
  • Avoid entering flood waters on foot or in a vehicle.
  • DO NOT drink flood waters.
  • DO NOT attempt to cross a flowing stream on foot if the water is above your knees.
  • If driving, know the depth of the water in a dip before crossing. The road may not be intact under the water.
  • A stalled vehicle can be swept away by rapidly rising water. Abandon the vehicle if necessary.
  • Avoid travelling long distances, motorists can be stranded for days at a time.


After the flood

  • If you had to evacuate, DO NOT return home until advised, then use the route recommended.
  • Continue to listen for additional weather warnings and advice.
  • Help injured or trapped neighbours.
  • Be wary of fallen power lines, damaged buildings, unstable tree branches, and hidden dangers associated with any flooding.
  • Electrical equipment that has been water damaged should be dried and checked by a qualified electrician before use.
  • When entering buildings use extreme caution.
  • Check the fridge and freezer for spoilage.
  • Do not drink or prepare food with tap water until advised by Douglas Shire Council that supplies are safe for consumption.
  • Throw away any food that has come into contact with flood waters.
  • Pump out flooded basements gradually to avoid structural damage.
  • Repair damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits and leaching systems as soon as possible as they pose a health hazard to yourself, your family and your neighbours.
  • Use the telephone only for emergency calls.

Food Safety

Following an emergency such as flood, severe storm, cyclone, fire or power failure, there is a danger that any food you have may no longer be safe to eat.



Preventative Measures

  • By being aware and taking preventative measures before a flood eventuates, the negative effects of a flood can be lessened.
  • Check your local flood history. Avoid building on floodplains unless you elevate and reinforce your home.
  • If your area is flood prone, consider alternatives to carpet on ground levels, such as removable floor rugs, and tiled floors and walls.
  • Keep insurance policies, documents and other valuables in a watertight container stored in a high place in your house. You will need your personal papers after the impact to ensure speedy insurance claims and to access bank accounts, etc. Do not forget to take the container with you if you have to evacuate.
  • Raise your electrical panel to a high position above flood level.
  • Install check valves in sewer traps to prevent floodwater from backing up into the drains of your house. This will prevent raw sewage from contaminating your house.
  • Construct floodwalls to stop floodwater entering your home. You will need to check with Council Engineering Staff to confirm the regulations pertaining to the construction of floodwalls and levees in your area. You may not be allowed to build a floodwall in your area.
  • Seal walls in basements, or those regularly exposed to flooding, with waterproofing compounds to prevent seepage through cracks.
  • Have a builder add a waterproof veneer to exterior walls of your house.
  • Keep a supply of sandbags, and sand to fill them with, available to sandbag doors to prevent water from entering your house.
  • List emergency phone numbers in a clearly visible location.
  • Prepare an emergency kit.
  • Do not camp in dry river beds as they can become flooded without warning.