How to Protect and Prepare Your Home For a Flood

How to Protect and Prepare Your Home For a Flood

Earlier this year, Queensland had experienced a major flood with unprecedented levels of rainfall, causing $1.243 billion in property damage. Approximately 3300 homes were damaged by floodwaters and around 1500 homes rendered uninhabitable.

The incoming monsoon was described as “once in a 100-year” event by premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, with flood heights reaching record-breaking levels of 2.36m.

The issue with floods is they come quickly and unexpectedly, wreaking havoc on everything standing in its path and causing significant damage to property.

The most common form of flooding in Australia is along rivers after heavy rainfall and accounts for 30% of the natural disasters that occur in Australia.

If you live in a flood prone area it is important that you protect and prepare your home for a flood and establish an emergency plan to keep your family and home safe.

How to protect your home from flood damage?

Start with reinforcing your windows and doors. Ensure they are all closed, locked and tightly sealed, with no gaps that can let water into the house in the event of a flood. Weatherproof your home and garage using gap fillers and garage insulation seals to make sure water can’t get in.

Next step is to do a thorough check of your home. If you haven’t got one already, purchase a sump pump: used to remove accumulated water, consider purchasing a backup generator and battery-operated pump, in case you lose power.

Make sure your gutters and downpipes are always clear. If possible, ensure all electrical appliances and components, including circuit breakers, sockets, wiring, and switches are elevated well above the likely flood level.

Sandbagging your property is your last defence. Although it won’t completely protect your home from damaging floodwaters, it can greatly minimise the damage caused by a flood. For those living in flood-prone areas, you’ll definitely want to consider stocking up on some sandbags, which can usually be found in your local hardware store or from landscaping suppliers.

You may not necessarily need to build an entire perimeter of sandbags around your home, but only lay sandbags needed to block entry points for greywater backflow. They can also be set in front of brickwork vents, doorways, garage doors, and air vents. Just like you would when laying a brick wall, stagger the sandbags with an overlap so the ends don’t meet and insert a plastic sheeting for added waterproofing.

Make sure to use gloves when discarding sandbags that have come in contact with the floodwater to avoid coming in contact with any harmful chemicals of bacteria in the floodwater.

What to prepare for a flood

If you live in a flood prone area:

A quick flood response plan

For when a flood warning has been issued.

Emergency flood kit

When the time comes to evacuate, have your emergency flood kit in a handy location in a waterproof container.

Too late to leave

If rising flood waters are now an immediate threat and you’ve had no time to prepare:

Do not consume any food or drink that has been in the floodwater