Flood

Prepare for flood

FLOODING can occur in any part of Western Australia at any time, although in the past decade it has occurred mostly in the North West of the State due to rainfall associated with cyclones. Sometimes it can be a problem identifying which areas are prone to flooding. Towns have been built in areas that may have been flooded many decades ago - either beyond living memory or any available data. While it is impossible to prevent heavy rainfall which causes flooding, communities, through their local governments, can implement flood prevention and preparation strategies to lower the impact of flooding.

Apart from identifying which areas are vulnerable to flooding, a local government can undertake other flood prevention or mitigation plans:

  • Ensure that land use planning takes into account the risk of areas being vulnerable to flooding.
  • Develop and maintain levees in flood prone areas.
  • Ensure the local community is made aware of the need to learn about flood prevention and preparation strategies.
  • If you live in a flood-prone area, it is best to prepare not just for the sake of saving lives and property, but also because most insurance does not cover flood damage.

You can prepare for flooding in a number of ways:

  • Check with your local council about local flood plans or records which detail problem areas.
  • Ask about evacuation routes and centres.
  • Consider changing floor coverings if you have carpet.
  • Have an emergency kit on hand which includes:
  1.           Portable radio, torch and spare batteries.
  2.           stock of canned food and fresh water.
  3.           First aid kit and manual.
  4.           Waterproof bags for clothing and valuables.
  5.           Gardening gloves are a handy extra in case you have to fill sand bags.
  6.           Keep a list of emergency telephone numbers on display.

Facing a flood

  • Tune into your local radio for warnings and advice.
  • Prepare to move vehicles, outdoor equipment, garbage, chemical and poisons to higher locations.
  • Plan which items of furniture you will raise if water threatens to enter your home. Have containers ready in case you need to empty the contents of refrigerator and freezer.
  • Check your emergency kit and prepare for the well being of pets.

Relocating to safer ground

If rising waters threaten your home and you decide to move to a safer location, tell the police, your nearest State Emergency Service unit or your neighbours of your move. If you have time before you leave, it is best to:

  • Pack warm clothing, essential medication, valuables and personal papers in waterproof bags along with your emergency kit.
  • Raise furniture, clothing and valuables onto beds, tables and into roof space (electrical items highest).
  • Empty freezers and refrigerator, leaving doors open (to avoid damage or loss if they float). Turn off power, water and gas and take your mobile phone.
  • Whether you leave or stay, put sand bags in the toilet bowl and over all laundry/bathroom drain holes to prevent sewage backflow.
  • Lock your home and take recommended evacuation routes for your area.
  • Don't drive into water of unknown depth and current.
  • Staying home
  • Stay tuned to local radio for updated advice.
  • Don't allow children to play in or near floodwaters.
  • Avoid entering floodwaters. If you must do so, wear solid shoes and check depth and current with a stick. Stay away from drains, culverts and water over knee deep.
  • Don't use gas or electrical appliances that have been in floodwater until checked for safety.
  • Don't eat food that has been in floodwaters.
  • Boil tap water until supplies have been declared safe.

Staying home

  • Stay tuned to local radio for updated advice.
  • Don’t allow children to play in or near floodwaters.
  • Avoid entering floodwaters. If you must do so, wear solid shoes and check depth and current with a stick. Stay away from drains, culverts and water over knee deep.
  • Don’t use gas or electrical appliances that have been in floodwater until checked for safety.
  • Don’t eat food that has been in floodwaters.Boil tap water until supplies have been declared safe.

 

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