Make an emergency flood plan
An emergency flood plan can help keep you from panicking in a flood-related evacuation.
Where will you go in a flood?
Plan where you will evacuate to if you need to leave your home. The safest place to relocate is outside the floodplain on high ground.
How will you get there?
If you need to drive during an evacuation, tune in to an emergency broadcaster station like ABC local radio to hear any urgent news relating to your route. Be very careful of driving hazards, like mud, debris, fallen trees, damaged powerlines or damaged roads. Most importantly, never to drive through floodwaters.
Driving through floodwaters is one of the biggest causes of fatalities during flood events. Floodwaters that reach the bottom of your car door can be enough to carry your vehicle away. According to a float tank experiment using real vehicles at the University of NSW Water Research Laboratory, these are the water depths that can move your car:
Small car (1 tonne) – 15cm of water
Medium car (1.5 tonne) – 30cm of water
Large 4WD (2.5 tonne) – 45cm of water
So, if a road is flooded, seek an alternative route instead. If driving conditions are too dangerous, safely pull over to higher ground away from trees and powerlines.
Prepare your emergency kit
Finally, pre-pack an emergency kit to take with you. Your kit should include bottled water, non-perishable food, a first aid kit, a mobile phone and charger, any regular medications, torches, and a battery-operated radio with spare batteries.
Take note of where your important documents are stored so that you can quickly add them to your kit in an emergency. These documents may include prescriptions, identification (such as driver’s licences, passports, birth certificates, Medicare cards, tax file number), proof of car/home ownership (such as land titles, mortgage documents and car registration) and insurance cover details. If you have pets, include their food and medication in your kit too.
Purchase a sturdy, waterproof container to house your emergency kit. A watertight box with wheels or handles is ideal. Label your kit in large, legible writing, and put some reflective tape over it so that you or another person can easily locate it.