Tips for staying safe during and after floods
UNFORTUNATELY Australia is no stranger to experiencing a number of floods.
Here are four household tips about preparing for floods or storms:
1. Prepare an emergency kit including torch, food supplies, first aid kit, water, blankets, extra clothing, toiletries.
2. Have a list of irreplaceable items to keep safe and put important personal documents into a sealed bag.
3. If you have time, take photographs before you leave. This may help later with insurance claims.
4. Turn off the mains power and water and take mobile phones and chargers with you. Put sandbags in toilet bowls to prevent sewage back-flow.
Whether torrential rain is coming your way or the water has started receding, you need to be extra vigilant with electrical safety.
No matter where you live, it's important for everyone to know the essential flood safety precautions for electricity.
Be safe around electricity:
1. Be extremely cautious - Treat each electrical item with extreme caution during a flood. Anything electrical is a potential danger such as appliances, powerlines, wires or plug sockets.
2. Raise electrical appliances - Where possible raise all electrical appliances before the flood. This will keep them away from water for as long as possible. If this isn't possible turn off and unplug the electrical appliances.
3. Don't use wet appliances- This may seem obvious but when people are tired and emotional they aren't able to think clearly.
4. Check check check! - If you've left your home or business during the flood, don't re-enter the property without first ensuring the energised electrical wiring has been shut off or disconnected.
5. Meter box - Don't use any part of your body to hold open the meter box lid. Make sure you use something that is non-conductive, such as wood.
6. Obey road signs- 15cm of fast moving water can knock over an adult. 30cm can carry a small car away and 60cm will take away most vehicles. It's never safe to drive or walk into flood waters.
Preparing for the actual aftermath of a flood or storm or another natural disaster that cuts of power, is just as important. During the days that follow, power and communications can be down for days. Shops, banks and petrol stations are often closed.
Preparing for the aftermath:
Here are some preparation tips for the aftermath:
1. Invest in a back up generator that will provide some power. A small generator will ensure you can still charge your mobile phone and keep the refrigerator running for fresh food.
2. Keep your car fuel tank full, as petrol stations may close down after a storm.
3. Have extra cash on hand as ATMs and banks may not be operating for some days.
"There is nothing enjoyable about a natural disaster," said MyGenerator managing director Sean Connolly.
"There are a number of tips and tricks though which can help people prepare themselves and their family for a flood, when they could be without power for a period of time.
"Preparation is the key to making a horrible situation bearable, during and after a flood."