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How to prepare your home for floods
If you’re in a flood-prone area, it’s time to secure the fort and get your defences ready. Prep your home before and during flood season to minimise damage and keep the floodwater away. Print your flood plan and let it guide you like a battle manual. And don’t forget to cover your home for this season’s unpredictabilities!
Elevate power points
Electrical sockets, switches and wiring should be elevated at least 12 inches above predicted flood levels. Not a floodwater psychic? Neither are we. But the SES and the Bureau of Meteorology provide this information online—so keep watch for local updates. If you’re concerned about the positioning of your electricial sockets, hire an electrician to assess and re-install.
Consider alternatives to carpets
If you live in a flood-prone area, you might want to consider flooring equipped to handle floods. Materials that aren’t absorbant will help defend against floodwater stains. Think vinyl, ceramic tile and concrete floors that are treated (stained or epoxied) or waterproofed.
Remove tree branches close to your home
Floods and storms go hand-in-hand. Where there’s flood, there’s also wind-related hazards to prep for. Take tree branches for one—they provide atmospheric shade on normal days, but come storm season, they turn into safety hazards. Heavy rain and wind can send branches crashing onto your home, so trim and prune those trees. If you don’t have green fingers, get a gardener to lend you theirs.
Clean gutters, downpipes and drains
This storm season, suburban Australia is full of hidden enemies. Clogged gutters look innocent enough, but blockages can cause rainwater to overflow under the eaves into the roof cavity. Be sure to clean your gutters, drains and downpipes. We all put off clearing dead leaf and twig build up, but write it in your to-do-list and get it done before the floods come. If you’re not totally confident, don’t hesistate to add a professional cleaner to your flood safety mission.
Secure loose items around your property
Small decorative items look pretty sitting in your backyard most of the year. But they can quickly become missiles during storm season. Bring the goods indoors or employ a strap-down mechanic. This way you won’t lose an eye to a flying garden gnome, and your favourite trinkets won’t blow away.
Learn how to safely turn off your power, water and gas
Before the storms hit, teach yourself how to quickly turn off the power, water and gas in your home. This way, you’ll be able to prevent a short-circuit in the event of lighting.
Prepare an emergency kit
Start building an accessible flood emergency kit. You’ll need:
- a torch with spare batteries,
- important documents,
- a battery-powered radio,
- extra clothes,
- a first aid kit.
Know when to leave
Sometimes flood season throws you a rough one, and in those instances, it may be best not to stick around. Know when to raise your white flag and evacuate. Make a plan with your family about when you’ll leave, where you’ll go, and which route will get you there.
Monitor weather alerts
During flood season, monitor weather warnings and take advice from authorities like the SES and your local CFA. They can provide clarity when you need well-informed advice on your next move.
AAMI has been the principal community partner of the VIC SES for more than 16 years. Through this partnership AAMI has provided VIC SES with financial and in-kind support to educate the Victorian community about disaster resilience and helps equip 149 SES units across the state.
AAMI Home Building and Home Contents Insurance is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 AFSL 230859 (AAI) trading as AAMI. The information is intended to be of a general nature only. We do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss incurred as a result of reliance upon it – please make your own enquiries.