Skip to main content Skip to main navigation
Skip to accessibility page Skip to search input

Flood Preparation

Unfortunately, flooding can happen almost anywhere in Australia. Areas near rivers, creeks and the ocean might seem like obvious risk zones, but heavy rain can cause flash-flooding practically anywhere. No matter what causes flooding though, it always has the potential to cause serious damage.

There’s no time like the present to get sorted

  • If you know you live in a flood-prone area, planting trees and shrubs can help control erosion and hinder the speed of flowing water
  • When it comes to choosing flooring inside your home, consider alternatives to carpet such as tiles
  • Make sure you’ve always got an emergency kit – chances are when a flood is on the way, you won’t have a chance to put one together. As a minimum, an emergency kit should contain first aid supplies, water, canned food (and a can opener), flash light, warm clothing and a battery-operated radio.
  •  Have a prepared emergency plan that can guide you through a variety of natural emergencies (including flooding). It should include emergency contact details, evacuation plans and information on any medical conditions anyone in your household may have.
  • Check your insurance - make sure it covers flood damage and is up-to-date.

When a flood is on the way

  • If there’s a chance your home could get flooded, move what you can to a higher place. If you have a second floor, move what you can upstairs. Using roof space is an option, but be aware of how much weight it’ll be able to take. As a minimum, put rugs on beds and move electrical items on to the top of cupboards or tables.
  • Make sure everything that’s important is in a safe place in a waterproof bag. This includes jewellery, documents, personal items and photos.
  • Empty out the fridge and freezer and leave the doors open – this will help minimise loss or damage if they float
  • Put sandbags in the toilet bowl and over any bathroom and laundry drains – this can stop sewage flowing back inside
  • Outside, open gates to allow water to flow freely. If you can, move outdoor furniture inside.

After a flood

  • Get permission from emergency services to go back inside your property. If you’ve evacuated, it’s extremely important that you don’t return to your property or vehicle until emergency services have given the all clear to do so.
  • Keep all power and electrical appliances off until they have been checked and approved for use and the house is cleaned up
  • Avoid floodwater as it may be contaminated by oil, gas, chemicals or raw sewage
  •  Boil tap water until supplies are declared safe. Drinking water may also be contaminated so wait for new reports to confirm whether the community’s water supply is safe to drink.
  •  Clean everything that was affected by the flood, as anything can become contaminated by floodwater. Make sure you wear gloves and a mask during the clean-up.
  • Take photographs of everything and keep a record of the damage as it may be needed for insurance claims.After the cyclone
  • Always wait for the all clear from emergency services and don’t assume the danger has passed – as you may in fact be in the eye of a tropical cyclone. If you have evacuated your property, don’t return until you have an official all clear.

 

Things you should know

View the Home and Contents Insurance Key Fact Sheets.

Home and Contents Insurance is issued by Westpac General Insurance Limited ABN 99 003 719 319 (except workers compensation cover where applicable). Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 distributes the insurance, but does not guarantee the insurance. This information does not take into account your personal circumstances. Read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDF 11MB) to see if this insurance is right for you.