Meteorologists are saying that it’s very possible that we see another flood during this spring or coming summer. While we’ll all be crossing our fingers that this doesn’t eventuate, it’s really important that you and your household prepare for another possible flood.
The benefit of advance warnings is the opportunity to make some preparations. If you know you won't be affected and would like to help those who are, sign up to join the Griffith team of mutual aid volunteers
1. Gather information
Use the advance warning to find out how you might be affected, and what supports are available to you. If you’re new to the area, check out Brisbane City Cou
If you were affected earlier this year, it is probably all too vivid in your memory. It may even trigger emotional and mental distress. 1300 642 255 is the Mental Health Triage number for Queenslanders to access public mental health services.
Things to check:
- Check out Brisbane City Council’s flood map to see historical floodings and to see modelling predictions about the chances of your property being affected each year. The map isn’t 100% accurate from the February 2022 floods, so if you’re new to the area check in with your neighbours to understand your risk.
- Understand the risk that might be posed to your home or business
- If you’re a homeowner, what does your insurance cover?
- If you’re a renter, check out this information from Tenants Queensland to understand your rights in a flood.
- What council support is there now and in the emergency. Right now you can start collecting sandbags in preparation.
- Check in with your neighbours and see if you can help each other prepare.
- Register for the Brisbane Severe Weather Alert service
- If you or your friends and family have a disability, check out this emergency preparedness resource written by Queenslanders with Disability Network
2. Make a plan
Floods hit suddenly and often with little time for warning. When the Brisbane floods hit this year, parents and children were separated by floodwater. Get the whole family involved in making your flood plan.
Consider the worst case scenarios:
- Where will you go if you need to evacuate?
- What arrangements will you make for pets?
- How will you ensure your valuables are in a safe place?
- Who can help secure your house?
Create an emergency kit
There are two types of emergency kits:
- Disaster kit - to survive a few days on your own. Some basic food items, water and batteries. Hopefully this sort of preparation is unnecessary for most folks in Griffith, but some individual circumstances might warrant this level of preparation
- Flee kit - to secure valuables and provide you with comfort if you need to leave. It could include some changes of clothes, charges for devices, medications and health aids, as well as any toys, books or games to occupy children.
Reduce the risk of damage
Clean up around the house, ensuring drains aren’t blocked and turning off gas and power before you evacuate are relatively simple things all householders can do to minimise damage. Long term here’s some advice to make your home more flood resilient
3. Listen for warnings
When Brisbane flooded earlier this year, the warnings came too late for some people. Nonetheless, once the rain starts falling, it is a good idea to be tuned in to official sources of information. The Bureau of Meteorology and the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services will give advice to help residents and business owners, and you can also sign up to receive BCC Severe Weather Alerts.
Remember that NBN will be affected if there are power outages, so don't rely on that being available!
Radio stations, especially ABC Local, are a great source of up-to-date information in a crisis, so a cheap battery-powered radio is a good thing to have in your emergency kit.
There's recently been a move to standardise warnings across Australia. Familiarise yourself here.
4. What to be aware of during floods
- Stay out of flood water: it’s often full of sewage and other nasties, and you can’t always see how strong the current is
- If you do come into contact with flood water, change out of the clothes you’re wearing as soon as possible and wash your skin with soap and water. If you have any cuts, no matter how minor, make sure to clean these well and apply antiseptic. If the cut is bad or seems infected, seek medical advice ASAP.
- If you see a sewerage manhole overflowing, please report it to either Urban Utilities or my office.
If you’ve got any questions at all or need help during a flood, please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office.