The first thing to check off in preparation for this summer storm season should be to check in with your local floodplan management authority. Depending on where you live, your floodplan management authority could be the local council, catchment management authority, water authority or territory government. This is to help determine whether your property is at a relatively high or low risk of flooding. Your home’s floor height and location (i.e. is it on top of a hill or at the bottom of a slope?) will strongly influence this risk level.
Flood-related planning and building controls only apply to the highest-risk areas. So, if you’re unsure, remember to ask about whether or not you live within a 1% Annual Exceedance Probability (AEP) flood zone. This measure uses historical data and computer modelling to describe how likely you are to experience a flood each year.
Have an emergency plan
The safest place to be during a flood is outside the floodplain. If, during a flood, you think it’s best to evacuate, take all safety precautions, tune in to your local broadcaster for any updates and, most importantly, follow the advice given out by your local emergency services. This might include a recommendation on whether you should stay put or hit the road, particularly when driving.
Remember, never drive through floodwaters. It only takes a small amount of floodwater to reach the bottom of your car door, after which the vehicle is then at risk of being swept away.
Tips for planning
Having a flood plan in place can take the stress out of evacuating and potentially save lives. So, here are some tips to developing one.