How to Prepare for A Flood in Australia?

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How to Prepare for A Flood in Australia?

One of the worst natural disasters in Australia is flooding, which damages homes, businesses, and crops and even puts people's safety at risk.

 

The main reason is that Australia's harsh weather has become more regular due to global warming. This has made the rainy season longer, and the heavy and violent rain makes flooding easy.

   

Everything you need to know to prepare for a flood in Australia is on this page. You will learn what to do before, during, and after a flood. You can charge most of your home items when the power goes out because of flooding with the Jackery Solar Generator, a portable solar power system with more power and costs less.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways:

After heatwaves, floods are the second most common natural disaster in Australia that kills people.

Often, natural factors like the weather, the ground's surface, and human actions affect floods.

No matter whether in NSW, Queensland, WA, Victoria, Tasmania, or SA, there are flooding-prone cities.

When preparing for a flood, you should know the local flood warnings, create a flood plan, pack the emergency kit, arrange your pets & property, and own a backup generator.

We highly recommend Jackery Solar Generator 500 or 300 Plus as a portable solar system to charge your emergency devices with portability and higher capacity.

During a flood, you should find an evacuation place for safety. After this natural disaster, you should check the damages, clean up, and pay attention to your health.


Australia Flooding Facts 


After heatwaves, floods are the second most common natural disaster in Australia that kills people. Between 1900 and 2023, about 20% of natural disaster deaths in Australia were caused by floods.

Floods are most likely to happen to people living near rivers or low-lying places, especially older people who can't reach higher ground. The cost of rebuilding is one of the biggest worries for Australia's insurance industry, so people who live in flood-prone places are also at risk right after a flood. (Data Source: Australian Climate Service)

A flood is a natural event when the water level in rivers, lakes, seas, and other bodies of water quickly rises, covering land that isn't typically flooded. There are four main types of floods:

Type of Flood

Details

Flash Flooding

It happens because of heavy rain in the area. This can happen anywhere, even far from rivers and other bodies of water. It occurs often in cities, where rain quickly runs off roofs and concrete.

Riverine Flooding

Streams and lakes (like rivers, creeks, lakes, reservoirs, canals, and dams) rise and flow over their sides onto low-lying land nearby. Australia gets this kind of flood most of the time.

Coastal Flooding

It is caused by influences in the water, like high tides, storm surges, and big waves. The highest tides, called "king tides," can flood low-lying places in a small way.

Estuarine Flooding

Estuaries are bodies of water where saltwater and freshwater meet, like tidal lakes, lagoons, wetlands, and rivers. Coastal and riverine forces work together to cause flooding in bays.

The Causes of Flooding in Australia


Natural factors like the weather, the ground's surface, and human actions often affect floods. Too much and too heavy rain can cause floods. In Australia, the following weather patterns are some of the ones that bring the heaviest rain.

  • Tropical Cyclones

Large tropical weather systems bring heavy rain. They happen most often in the tropics, but their heavy rain can reach Australia's southernmost areas. Read the IAG Tropical Cyclone Fact Sheet to learn more about these storms. 

  • Severe Thunderstorms

Thunderstorms usually only last an hour or two but can be as short as a few minutes. In some places, they can rain very hard. They can cause small river catchments to flood and flash floods.

  • Storm Surge

Storm surge is the quick rise in sea level above and beyond. This can happen during mid-latitude lows and tropical storms. This can worsen flooding because the higher sea level makes it harder for water to leave other places inland. Storm surge and wave movement along the coast can damage property and cause flooding.

  • Mid-Latitude Lows

Heavy rain bursts happen because of extensive weather systems, mainly in the southern half of Australia. Most of them bring heavy rain over two or three days, which can flood big rivers and smaller streams in seconds.

East Coast Lows are a type of mid-latitude low that can be found off the southeast coast of Queensland, the eastern shore of New South Wales, the east coast of Victoria, and the east coast of Tasmania. They have caused some of the most significant rain in these areas.

  • Monsoon Lows

Prominent places get a lot of heavy rain from systems that move slowly, like the storms in Townsville and north Queensland in February 2019.

The Danger of Flooding in Australia


While all waterways are susceptible to flooding, some floodplains are more vulnerable than others due to varying flood depths and levels of development. Each state's most susceptible local government areas (LGAs) are shown below.

high risks flooding areas in australia

(Data Source: IAG Flood Facts)

Floods are harmful. The water may be deep, the currents may be rapid and forceful, and the currents may carry sharp things that could injure humans or animals. Floodwaters may also contain poisonous waste, chemicals, and harmful animals. Meanwhile, floods span hundreds of square kilometres and last for weeks or months.

During a flood, you and your family may become trapped and endangered. Certain distant regions may be quarantined for months. Most flood-related deaths occur when individuals attempt to drive, walk, swim, or play in floodwaters.

Sharp items in the water critically injured people, or they drowned after being caught in their cars or washed away by high currents. Flooding endangers human life and destroys infrastructure such as buildings, bridges, and roadways.


How to Prepare for A Flood in Australia?


A flood is a terrible thing that can happen, so you should make a plan to protect yourself and your family in case the worst happens. Learn how to prepare for a flood and take steps to lessen the damage it does.

how to prepare for a flood

Step 1: Know Flood Warnings


Once the BoM sends out a Flood Watch or Warning, DFES will send out alerts and warnings. The Bureau sends out flood warnings when a flood is about to happen or is likely to occur in a particular place.

In preparation for impending flash floods, a severe weather warning will be issued to inform people about the possible event. Five different warning levels relate to the times when flooding is most likely to happen.  

  • Prepare for Flooding: One crucial thing to do to prepare for a flood is to carefully review your flood plan. Check to see if your emergency kit is complete, and get your home ready inside and outside. You should never swim, walk, or play in floods because they are dangerous. It is illegal to camp or park near rivers. 
  • Take Action Now: Regarding this advisory, it is advisable to monitor fluctuations in water levels in anticipation of the necessity for an evacuation. Stock feed or pet food should you return to your residence for only a few days. Animals and equipment must be relocated.
  • Prepare to Evacuate: Now is the time to decide where you're going and ensure you have all the emergency goods you need. Ensure that everyone in the family wears the right clothes and sturdy shoes. As directed by emergency services, turn off the main water, power, and gas sources. Sandbags should be ready to stop sewage from backing into overflowing pipes and toilets.
  • Evacuate Now: It means leaving for a safer area immediately, bringing your emergency and moving goods. Sandbags should be put in bathrooms, over drain holes, and across doors to stop backflow if people can't get out. Find a safe place to stay on the upper level of the house.
  • Cancellation: Finally, you should monitor changes in the water level to be ready to move. It is dangerous to walk, swim, or play in floods. Stay away from storm drains, pipelines, ravines, and ditches.
    flood warnings

(Data Source: BoM)

Step 2: Make A Flood Plan


The most effective strategy to deal with flooding is to have a clear action plan. Create an evacuation plan depending on your home and surroundings. Your action plan must include where you will evacuate if necessary, and you should gather information on evacuation sites and centres in your area ahead of time.

Consult with neighbours and friends to identify safe regions and create numerous routes to guarantee a rapid evacuation. Practising evacuation protocols is a good idea so everyone in your household understands what to do and where to go.

Natural disasters can occur at any time. If your property is in a flood-prone area, it's essential to plan to protect yourself, your family, livestock, pets, and property from the harmful effects.

To ensure a quick evacuation during a flood, create many alternate routes and seek out safer regions. Plan your evacuation location in case of an emergency. Local governments can give information on the locations of evacuation centres within their jurisdiction.

Download Flood Plan PDF >>

Step 3: Prepare The Flood Emergency Kit


Essential services may be disrupted in the days after a flood. Emergency kits must be prepared to provide basic living needs. Your emergency kit should be in a watertight plastic container or a heavy-duty waterproof bag.

Move vital items (such as photos, documents, and electronic devices) to higher ground or store them in waterproof containers. As water levels increase during floods, higher ground is less likely to be flooded. Products containing dangerous chemicals should be stored on higher shelves to avoid floodwater contamination risk.

The following items should be included in your flood emergency kit.

Flood Emergency Kit

Emergency Contact Details

Important Documents

Non-Perished Food

Can Opener

Cooking Supplies

Radio

Torch

Jackery Solar Generator

First Aid Kit

Sanitary Items

Protective Clothing

Footwear

Gloves

Infant Supplies

Spare Clothes

Pet Supplies

House Keys

Car Keys

Maintaining a reliable power supply in flood-prone areas is crucial to keep equipment like sump pumps, refrigerators, and lighting operational. 

For residents of flood-prone locations, portable solar generators, particularly the Jackery Solar Generator, which merges Jackery SolarSaga Solar Panels with a Portable Power Station to convert sunlight into electrical power, are a practical and cost-effective option. This solar emergency kit is essential in a flood or other calamity.

Step 4: Be Prepared for Power Outages


If you are in or near a dangerous area, have a backup power source ready. Get ready by getting a home backup power source like the Jackery Solar Generator 300 Plus or 500 to charge or power electronics when the power goes out.

Having power for communication and lighting is much more important during a flood. Your home backup power source can power your radio, phone, or any other device you need to find out what's going on or call for help. During this time, candles and lamps are different types of light that can be used.

Besides learning how to prepare for a flood, you might also be interested in:


Jackery Solar Generators for Flood Emergencies


A portable solar power system can be a stable power source for home backup, especially in an emergency like a flood.  

how jackery solar generator works during flooding

With its increased capacity, the Jackery Solar Generator, which integrates Jackery Solar Panels with a Portable Power Station to convert sunlight into electricity, is the most effective portable solar system.

The Jackery Portable Power Station has a premium lithium battery, an MPPT charge controller, and a pure sine wave inverter to ensure a stable and consistent power supply to various household appliances and personal devices in a flood emergency, including your phones, radios, lights, batteries, etc.

Jackery Solar Generator 500


What plans do you have if electricity is unavailable in your home? How will you keep the temperature of your coolers, charge your phones, and contact with others? A Jackery Solar Generator 500 can solve this problem quickly. It combines SolarSaga 80W or 100W solar panels to turn sunlight into electricity with the Explorer 500 portable power station.

The Jackery Explorer 500 portable power station charges low to high-power equipment for extended lengths. The power station's huge 518Wh battery capacity, portability, foldable handle, lower noise level (46dB, similar to a human whisper), lightweight (6.4 kg), and industry-leading BMS technology make it ideal for home use.

The Jackery Explorer 500 contains three USB-A connectors, one AC outlet, two DC ports, and a vehicle for charging essential appliances like a refrigerator, radio, phone, etc, during a flood. For example, it can charge a phone for 44 hours, providing enough power to contact others.

jackery solar generator 500

Jackery Solar Generator 300 Plus


Due to its 288Wh capacity, 300W power output, two PD ports with a maximum output of 100W each, rapid charging for multiple devices simultaneously, and multiple charging options, the Jackery Solar Generator 300 Plus, which combines the SolarSaga 80W solar panel with the Explorer 300 Plus portable power station, is suitable for home emergency.

It can, for example, run a 10W phone for 24 hours and a 150W radio for 1.6 hours. The Jackery Explorer 300 Plus portable power station fits easily in your home, weighing only 3.75 kilograms. 

The Jackery Explorer 300 Plus portable power station, which is powered by a Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) battery and has a 10-year lifespan, protects the safety of all your electrical equipment by providing a consistent voltage and pure sine wave.

Furthermore, the unique ChargeShield technology and constant power delivery prevent equipment damage. Our enhanced charging mechanism ensures longer battery life and faster charging times.

jackery solar generator 300 plus

What Should You Do During A Flood in Australia?


During a flood, conditions can change rapidly. So, it's critical to understand how to keep safe. You must heed flood warnings and follow an emergency flood response strategy. You may need to evacuate if floodwaters are expected to rise to dangerous levels or if conditions suggest a risk of flash flooding. 

Before Evacuation


If you are told to evacuate, please do so quickly. Local rescuers are employing barricades to steer motorists away from inundated areas safely. Don't drive around roadblocks.

Moving to higher ground is the most excellent option, but only if it is safe. If you are cut off by rising water, try to reach the highest point of a substantial building if possible. If you require rescue, please get in touch with the appropriate authority and tell the exact location.

Turn off the power, gas, and water before leaving the house. Do another headcount, including pets. Also, follow the evacuation directions provided by emergency services.

During Evacuation


When leaving, pay close attention to the flood prevention signs and stay away from dangerous places as soon as possible. For instance, low-lying areas where a lot of water collects and high-voltage line places where electricity could leak.

Stay calm if you get lost in the floods on the way. When you need to stand up, try to hold your breath and grab anything that sticks out of the ground. Watch out for floods and mudslides when you go up higher.

After Evacuation


As soon as you get to a safe place, you should wash your whole body to get rid of dirt and germs on your skin and avoid getting skin diseases. Women should take better care of their health and clean their private parts more often to avoid getting UTIs. Getting medical help or rescuers as soon as possible is essential if you have signs like fever or feel tired.

If it's too late to leave your trapped home, stay calm and put sandbags over doorways, gutters, and toilets to keep water out. To keep expensive things like furniture and electronics from water damage, raise them. Turn off the gas and power immediately and go to a higher place.

Here are some more things to keep in mind during a flood:

  • Your safety is the most important thing to you. Be sure to leave to protect your property or look for papers or other things before the last minute.
  • As soon as possible, get to a safe place. Tell your neighbours, friends, and family what's going on and tell them to follow the flight.
  • Stay inside your car if it gets stuck in water, moving quickly. If the water level in your car rises, you should get on top of it.
  • Stay away from bridges that cross water and move quickly. For no reason, fast-moving water can wash away bridges.

What Should You Do After A Flood in Australia?


Flooding may cause significant damage and disruption in homes and communities. Electricity, water, gas, and sewage services may need to be fixed. There may also be road and airport closures and communication interruptions.

Recovery can be challenging, emotionally draining, and unpleasant for you and your family, so try to remain calm. Please wait until the Australian Emergency Management Agency has permitted you to enter flooded regions before returning home. 

Check for Damages


It is critical to document photographs and descriptions of property and vehicle damage. Taking video or pictures of the damage before the cleanup begins will help with the claims procedure. List the damaged things and determine whether they can be repaired or cleaned.

Cleanup


Mould is one of the most severe risks associated with floods. If your home is not thoroughly dried, it can develop mildew and mould, which can cause significant health issues. The extent of foundation damage will also determine the degree of the necessary repairs. Cleaning and restoring damaged homes and valuables are common repairs.

Soft furnishings, carpets, and mattresses should be removed from the residence if they have been water-damaged and pose a health concern. Repairable devices that do not represent a health danger should not be discarded.

The house and furniture may take several weeks to dry, so begin immediately. Work on one room at a time, keeping youngsters away from the cleanup area. If it is not raining, please keep all doors and windows open for ventilation.

Use disinfectant to clean the walls and flooring. After cleaning the space, use a second disinfectant to kill bacteria and mould spores and assist in eliminating odours.

Health


When leaving, pay close attention to the flood prevention signs and stay away from dangerous places as soon as possible. For instance, low-lying areas where a lot of water collects and high-voltage line places where electricity could leak.

Stay calm if you get lost in the floods on the way. When you need to stand up, try to hold your breath and grab anything that sticks out of the ground. Watch out for floods and mudslides when you go up higher.

Still, there are more tips for taking action after a flood:

  • Before returning to check out the house, please wear safety gear like boots, gloves, a mask, and a strong shirt and pants.
  • If water has ruined your car, don't drive it.
  • Please only turn on the power once a professional has checked it out.
  • Call your insurance company to make a claim and get help with the process as soon as possible.
  • Before you do any building work, even emergency repairs, please talk to your insurance company and get their written permission because your coverage might not cover work that isn't yours.

Final Thoughts


Australia is the driest region in which people live. But in some parts of Australia, heavy flooding happens almost every year. Floods are terrible natural disasters that hurt the environment and destroy many properties. In Australia, knowing how to prepare for a flood is crucial.

This article gives advice and ideas on how to deal with Australia's frequent floods, including what to do before, during, and how to deal with the damage after the flood. A Jackery Solar Generator can also power things like lights, radios, phones, and more in case of a disaster. 

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