How to Prepare for Flood Season in Australia

Is your home ready for flood season this year? Take a look at our blog and follow these simple steps to prepare your home. It’s easier and simpler than you may think and can save you time and money in the long run.

Preparing for flood season is extremely important, especially for those living in high-risk areas like the tropics, river banks and mountain bases. Many of us leave it until it’s too late to prepare for flood seasons, which typically occurs in the warmer months of the year, from October to April in Australia. 

Knowing how to prepare for flood season in Australia can help protect you against otherwise unavoidable damage to your home and livelihood. Getting your home ready for the wet season is easier than you think, with 5 tips from Plumber to Your Door to help you out.

Types of Floods in Australia

1. Slow onset flooding.

Slow onset flooding is typically experienced by those living on or around rivers in the areas of central and western New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria. Floods in these areas are mostly caused by burst river banks and can lead to loss of livestock and crops, property damage and community isolation. 

2. Quick onset flooding.

Quick onset flooding is extremely dangerous, usually occurring in regions near mountain bases with river headwaters. The rivers in these areas are often steeper and faster flowing, therefore when large amounts of rainfall on top of the mountain they are near the banks often burst — and quickly. This sort of flooding can cause loss of livestock, crops, property damage and loss of life. 
Unlike slow onset floods, these weather conditions happen quickly, giving residents almost no time to prepare, escalating the damage done. Quick onset flooding can occur in almost all regions in Australia.

 3. Flash flooding.

Flash floods can occur anywhere in Australia and are common during storm season. They are caused by short, yet intense, bursts of rain in one area, such as a severe thunderstorm. This time of flood poses a great threat to life, especially when people attempt to drive, ride or enter floodwaters or drain pipes.  

Their impact is often intensified in urban areas where the current drainage systems are not built to cope with mass rainfall, or are simply blocked with uncleared debris.

5 Ways to Prepare Your Home For Flood Season

Townsville-based plumbing business Plumber To Your Door has outlined their top 5 tips for getting your home ready for storm season.

1. Clean your gutters.

We all know cleaning your gutters is important and doing so regularly can help potentially save your house in a natural disaster. One of the many things they’re used for, aside from directing water, is protecting your home from extensive water damage during flood season. 

According to Plumber to Your Door, “Without clean gutters, uncontrolled rainwater can:
·  Cause water damage to your sidings.
·  Flood the areas directly underneath your roof.
·  Force water through cracks and underneath tiles.
·  Cause excess pressure, which can crack tiles.”

2. Inspect the downpipes

While you’re up cleaning your gutters, you may as well inspect your downpipes and ensure they’re free of blockages and damage.  Due to the volume of water travelling through downpipes, they can become prone to rust damage,  blockages and loosening brackets. If you do find any of these issues, get in contact with your local plumber

3. Blocked drains.

Blocked drains can be a problem at any time of year, not just in flood season. Plumber to Your Door says, “If you have been experiencing slow drainage, smells or gurgling sounds from your drains, the problem isn’t going to go away on its own. They’ll get worse with heavy rain, so don’t delay getting a plumber to have a look at them.”

4. Clean up the garden.

Unsecured furniture, kids toys and garden tools can easily become deadly weapons in storms, being blown into windows and fences or washed away with force in flood waters. Keeping your garden clean can save you a lot of money in the long run, especially if you live in areas prone to flooding and severe storms.

 5. Tree roots.

Tree roots can cause lots of hidden damage to your home. Plumber to Your Door says, “While it’s impossible to see roots entering your drainage system underground, it is the most common cause for blocked drains in Queensland. If your drains run slowly or are entirely blocked, have them CCTV drain camera inspected for roots before storm season begins.”

How to Prepare for Flood Seasons Near You

What to do before a flood.  

The actions you take before a flood could save your property and your life. Always listen to advice given by your local emergency services, ensuring you have a battery operated radio if power were to go out. Where there is time to prepare for the flood, local councils will often provide sandbags to prepare your home, which you should collect and use to stop water from entering your home or garage.

How to prepare your home for a flood: 

  1. Remove all leaf litter and other items which may cause drain blockages from around the yard.
  2. Pick up or secure all furniture or kids toys which may be moved by flood waters.
  3. Develop an evacuation plan with those in your household and neighbours. 
  4. Make an emergency kit with first aid, important documents, torches, radio, batteries, candles and matches.

What to do during a flood.

If you’re caught in a flood, always follow the directions and advice of the emergency services in your area and: 

  • Monitor the current situation, including tuning into a local TV or radio program.
  • Do not enter flood waters, even if you’re in a vehicle. Flood waters often have very strong undertows and can wash you off the road in moments. You also can’t see what is under the water, like where roads have been washed away, debris, etc.
  • If you’re advised to evacuate, take all important documents in a plastic bag or folder, follow direct instructions from the emergency services. Take your pets with you, secure any loose outdoor items and lock your home securely. Some shelters may not allow pets so it’s important to find a safe place outside of the immediate danger area, such as a family or friends home.
  • Fill plastic bags with sand or soil and place over all toilet bowls and drains to prevent sewage from entering your home.
  • Ensure someone knows of your whereabouts at all times.

What to do after a flood.

After your area has been deemed safe to reenter by authorities, you may return to your home if you have left, or venture outside if you chose to stay. If returning to your home:

  • Ensure the water level is below floor height. 
  • Check for any major structural damage before entering the building.
  • Wear rubber gloves and boots for protection.
  • Check with electricity, water and gas suppliers to find out if those services are stalled in your area and when they will be returned. 
  • Do not use any electrical appliances until they have been checked by a professional. 

Get in contact with your local plumber on Localsearch.com.au to check your home is ready for storm and flood season. 

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      Katrina Stapleton

      Digital Content Specialist

      Katrina Stapleton is a Digital Content Specialist at Localsearch with a background in social media and marketing. Although most of her experience lies in the entertainment sector, Katrina has written content for a vast array of industries including tourism, hospitality, retail and property development. Katrina is an avid dog lover, who finds a way to weave her fur-baby, Mylo, into most conversations. Aside from being a self-confessed bookworm, Katrina can often be found checking out the Gold Coast's latest coffee nook, paddle-boarding or baking up a storm in her free time — all with Mylo by her side, of course! As a Digital Content Specialist, Katrina enjoys sharing her knowledge and passions on the Localsearch Blog.