When an evacuation is announced follow the recommendations and ensure your personal safety as your top priority. If a flood warning has been issued, have these items easily accessible to be used to minimise flood damage on your home.
Sandbags are a brilliant investment for homes that are likely to be impacted by flooding. Available in different sizes, sandbags can be placed against doors and other entryways to minimise the flow of flood water entering your home.
Sandbags act as a barrier for the flood water, as the sand absorbs the flood water, preventing it from flooding into your home. While sandbags are the most effective measure to protect your home against floods in a quick and convenient way, they are not 100% waterproof. Depending on the severity of the flood, the sandbags might be rendered useless.
However, for small flooding, they are very successful in keeping the majority of the water out of your home. Keeping flood water out of your home helps reduce the amount of household clean up needed post-flood.
Conveniently available at hardware and garden stores, sandbags are a great option for quickly protecting your home from floods.
After using sandbags, make sure you are wearing gloves when you discard the bags. Floodwater often has toxic chemicals and bacteria present, as well as unknown substances that could be harmful.
Turn Off Electricity
Turning off the electricity is an important step to protect your home. It is easier to turn off the electricity at the generator rather than turning off every single individual appliance and electrical socket. Unless your generator is unsafe to get to, turning off the main power source is the best option to protect your home from floods.
If you have time and it is safe to do so, it is recommended that appliances and their electrical components be switched off and unplugged from the power source. Depending on the circumstances of the flooding, moving the appliances to a higher elevation is advisable too to ensure their longevity and and survival to withstand flooding.
Having your safety plan in place is important, as conditions could quickly change and you may need to evacuate.
Following your safety plan steps will assist you in protecting yourself and your home from the flood risk.
Ensuring you have access to an emergency evacuation location with necessary supplies and contacts to know you are safe.
Haven’t Prepared For Flooding?
If you are unprepared and rising flood waters have now reached your door, don’t panic. Here are some ways you can try and stay safe if you have not had a chance to evacuate:
- Relocate to higher ground
- Do not enter floodwaters
- Switch off all utilities including electricity and gas
- Have your emergency flood kit handy
- Keep your pets safe and ensure for their wellbeing
Emergency Flood Preparation
If a flood is likely to occur or an alert has been raised, you should have an emergency flood preparation in place so you aren’t scrambling at the last minute trying to get your affairs in order.
Consider the following in your emergency preparedness:
- Safety Plan
- Emergency Plan Flood Kit
- Important Documents
Have an evacuation plan in place with alternate routes in case one becomes inaccessible.
Knowing where to go and how to get there is important in ensuring your own and your family members safety during a crisis.
Emergency Plan Flood Kit
Creating an emergency flood kit is vital for a crisis situation. Essential items to include in your kit are:
- First Aid Kit
- Spare batteries
- Portable radio
- Spare set of clothes, underwear and shoes
- Bottles of water
- Non-perishable food items
Your kit should be in an easily accessible location, being easy to carry and transport, and as waterproof as possible.
If you have pets, your safety plan must include them too. Don’t forget necessary items your pet might need such as tinned food, any medications, and their favourite toy.
If your pet is small and can fit in a carrier, place them in there safely to transport them.
If your pet is larger, consider appropriate transportation measures.
Having all of your documents in one place is the best way to manage when in emergency situations.
Organise your documents in folders with tabs and labels so you can easily identify what files are where, especially your insurance documents. Make sure the folder is sealed, in a waterproof sleeve or has plastic sheeting so the water does not destroy the paper.
If you have time, make electronic copies of your documents and have these files backed up on a cloud, Google Drive, or other storage device.
If your area has been issued a flood warning and to evacuate, depending on the timeframe, you might not be able to take a lot of sentimental items as your personal safety is priority.
If there is time, however, having your most necessary valuables in one space is a good idea to get up and go when you need to. Have careful consideration for what you would take, thinking about how easy or difficult it might be to take items with you.
Evaluate The Risk of Flooding
Not every area is prone to flooding, so different homes will require different levels of protection against floods.
If the risk of flooding is likely, ensure you have preparations ready to go.
In areas that are more likely to be impacted severely by flooding, you will need to have a more secure flood plan in place alongside implementing longer-term precautions.
Your local council should have access to information regarding risk areas for potential flooding, as well as evacuation routes for these areas.
Flood-proofing your home is something that takes time and following these steps could help protect your home from the impacts of flooding:
Varnish existing wooden skirting boards, or install water resistant plastic skirting boards.
Making your skirting boards waterproof or water resistant is an important and easy step in flood management for your home.
Change Carpet to Tiles
While this renovation is on the larger side, if your house is likely to be impacted by severe flooding, it could be worthwhile considering changing your carpet to tiles.
Carpets can be damaged after a flood, and dealing with wet carpet after a flood can be a nightmare.
Tiles are the best floor option for high-flooding areas, as the runoff is easier and significant damage is lessened compared to timber hard floors or carpet.
Ceramic tiles can have waterproof adhesives coated on top, ensuring they remain in good condition after being impacted by flooding.
Higher Electrical Sockets
If you are in a flood-prone area, it would be worthwhile having an electrician moving your electrical sockets higher on the wall.
This protects them from potentially being damaged by low-level flooding.
As this is a costly exercise, consider whether or not this longer-term precaution is necessary and worthwhile for your home.
Raising large appliances is beneficial for home flood management, as it not only protects the appliances from being damaged by floods but also helps prevent hydro-electrocution and electrical damage.
Your local area should have a ‘flood level’ recommendation, i.e. a level of water they predict flooding will occur. If you do not live in an area with usual flooding activity then it is unlikely your council will have this information.
Appliances you should consider raising includes:
- Air conditioners
- Washing machines
Large household items like fridges and freezers should be safely secured or mounted, so they do not float in flood waters.
Loose large appliances can cause serious damage to your home if they are dismounted.
Securing your items before a flood is good preparation for if a flood does occur, it is one less thing to worry about in the moment.
Grade Lawn Away From House
Rainwater from heavy rainfall will pool around your house when your lawn tilts towards your house.
To fix this problem and prevent flooding, grading your lawn away from your house is a great option.
With heavy soil containing sand and clay, you can regrade your lawn leaving the water run off towards road gutters instead.
If your lawn is flooded and the backyard damaged by the harsh water conditions, consider a professional backyard rubbish service to assist in the clean up.
Check Your Gutters
Your roof gutters should be cleaned regularly. Build up of leaves and other things can cause an overflow of water, which is worsened when flooding occurs.
Ensuring your gutters are clean helps prevent excess overflow and can greatly minimise the impact of flooding.
Install Check Valves On Pipes
Installing check valves on your pipes is a good preventative measure for ensuring flooded sewerage does not enter your home.
Check valves are more efficient than flap valves due to better conditions for sealing against the high pressure of flooding waters.
Flood Clean Up
If your home has been impacted by flooding and you need assistance for rubbish clean up, contact 1300 Rubbish for a quote.
1300 Rubbish are able to assist in your rubbish removal and collection in a convenient and timely manner, with sustainable disposal practices implemented for all of their services.