Flood Preparedness: How to Stay Above Water When Waters Rise


18 Jul, 2023

Flood Preparedness: How to Stay Above Water When Waters Rise

One of the worst natural disasters in Australia and across the world are floods. This devastating natural disaster affects millions of people worldwide each year and can occur due to heavy rainfall, snowmelt, storm surges, or the failure of dams and levees. Floodwaters can rise rapidly, submerging homes, roads, and entire communities, causing significant property damage, and posing serious threats to human life. It is important to be prepared for a flood to minimise its impact on individuals and communities. Read on below to know the essential flood preparedness measures that can help you stay above water when waters rise.

1. Create an Emergency Plan

The first step you must take in a flood is to prepare a well-thought-out emergency plan. Gather your family members or household and discuss the steps you must all take in case of a flood. Designate evacuation routes and meeting points in case you get separated. Ensure everyone knows how to shut off utilities such as gas, electricity, and water. You must also consider the needs of elderly family members, children, and pets when creating your plan.

2. Build an Emergency Kit

Next, you must build an emergency kit with essential supplies that can sustain your family for at least three days. You should include items such as non-perishable food, bottled water, first aid supplies, a flashlight, batteries, a battery-powered radio, hygiene items, important documents in waterproof containers, and a basic toolkit. Keep the emergency kit in an easily accessible and elevated location in your home. Tip You can get more information on how to build an emergency kit by looking at the Pantry List page.

3. Stay Informed

You must also stay informed about weather conditions and flood alerts in your area. Install weather apps or invest in a weather radio to receive real-time updates on any natural disaster. Listen to local authorities and follow evacuation orders promptly. Being aware of flood warnings and forecasts will give you valuable time to prepare and make informed decisions for your safety.

4. Secure Your Home

Next, you must take preventive measures to protect your home from flood damage. It is important to elevate electrical appliances, such as washers and dryers, to higher floors if possible. Install check valves in plumbing to prevent floodwaters from backing up into your home. Seal cracks in the foundation and basement walls to reduce the risk of water infiltration. If you live in a flood-prone area, consider elevating your entire house or building flood barriers around your property. 5. Evacuation Planning

If the national authorities in Queensland issue an evacuation order, take it seriously and act promptly. Gather your emergency kit, important documents, and essentials, and move to higher ground or a designated safe location. You must avoid walking or driving through flooded areas, as it takes only six inches of swiftly moving water to knock an adult off their feet.

6. Review Insurance Coverage

Lastly, you must ensure your home and belongings are adequately insured against any flood damage. Your standard homeowners' insurance policies often do not cover flood-related losses. It is a good idea to purchase a separate flood insurance policy to provide financial protection in the event of flood damage.


It is important to be prepared for a flood by creating an emergency plan, building an emergency kit, staying informed, and taking preventive measures to stay above water when floods threaten your community. Remember to stay connected with local authorities, follow evacuation orders, and support one another during times of crisis. With careful preparation and community support, you can increase your resilience and safety during flood events.  

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