Do you have a flood plan?
Storms and floods can happen quickly. If you live, work or visit a flood-prone area, it’s important to plan ahead. It can save lives and minimise damage to your home.
Get to know your flood risk
You can contact your local council to find out about historical flood locations and how flooding might affect your property.
You should also determine what floodwater height could affect your home or business.
Speaking with people who have been in the area a long time can help you understand the natural warning signs of flooding so you can act quickly if required.
For further information on what risks you might face in your area, visit the SES website.
Understand the chance of flooding
It is important to understand what the terms used to describe the likelihood of flooding in your local area mean.
For example, a 1-in-100-year flood means that there is a 1 per cent chance every year of that level of flooding being equalled or exceeded.
Watch this NSW SES video for more on Understanding the chance of flooding.
Know where to go in case of an emergency
Plan the safest route to travel in case you need to evacuate and identify the flood heights that could cut your property off.
Organise a place to stay outside of the flood-prone area, ideally with friends or relatives.
Save emergency phone numbers
Keep local emergency numbers handy (such as in your mobile phone or on the fridge).
Call the NSW SES on 132 500 for emergency help in floods and storms.
Call Triple Zero (000) in a life‐threatening emergency.
Other important contact information
For flood support and services call Service NSW on 13 77 88.
If you're deaf or have a speech impairment contact the National Relay Service on 1800 555 677.
For translating and interpreting services call TIS National on 131 450.
Make your flood plan
Develop a plan using the NSW SES Emergency Planner.
Once you have completed your plan, share it with family and neighbours so that they will be aware of your movements in case there is an emergency.
Remember to review and practise your plan annually and after flood events.
Your plan also needs to include your animals. Consider how you will transport your pets to a safe location.
Relocating larger animals can take time. Think about how you could organise to move them early if there is a risk of floods.
Preparing an emergency kit
Preparing an emergency kit can save vital time in an emergency, especially if you lose power or need to leave your home quickly.
An emergency kit should contain:
- a portable radio with spare batteries
- a torch with spare batteries
- a first aid kit (with supplies necessary for your household)
- candles and waterproof matches
- important papers including emergency contact numbers
- a copy of your emergency plan
- a waterproof bag for valuables
- any required medications
- any special requirements and supplies for babies, people with disability, who are unwell or elderly people
- appropriate clothing and footwear
- fresh food and drinking water.
Keep your emergency kit in a waterproof container and set quarterly reminders to review its contents, checking use-by dates on perishable items and restocking items if required.
Check your insurance policy and what it covers
Make sure that your insurance is up to date and your level of cover is adequate for
- your personal situation
- the area where you live.
Knowing if your area is prone to disasters will help you better understand the risks. If you're not sure, check with
- your insurance company
- the local council
- people in your community.
Consider checking your insurance policy to:
- understand the difference between storm and flood cover
- confirm if your policy includes cover for flood damage
- know what emergency events you're covered for
- understand the difference between total replacement cover and sum-insured cover
- check if the total amount you're insured for will cover the cost of repairs.
Learn more about choosing home insurance at Moneysmart.
Preparing to evacuate
If your area is on alert during or after a storm or flood, it's important to be ready to evacuate at short notice.
Read If you need to evacuate.