SES Floodsafe

Better FloodSafe than Sorry



Guide for Floods in Rural Areas


Are you at risk from floods?

Floods can and do happen in Victoria. Floods can affect you if you live, work or visit areas close to creeks, rivers, drains or low-lying land. Every flood is different but being prepared can help keep you safe, reduce damage and save you money.


Floods do more damage in terms of dollars and lives lost than any other natural hazard in Australia.


Floods can affect your whole property, including:


. Loss of life

. Loss of crops, livestock, hay and fodder

. Damage to house, sheds and fences

. Damage to pumps and machinery


Even if your property is not flooded, you may still be isolated or cut off by flooded roads or damaged bridges.


Flood Warnings


Flood warnings are sent out by the Bureau of Meteorology. A Flood Watch is early notice that floods may occur in your region in the next 1-2 days if predicted rainfall occurs. A Flood Warningis sent out when flooding is about to happen. A Flood Warning

gives a prediction of the size of the flood (minor, moderate or major) and when predicted heights will be reached. Flash Floods are fast moving and happen so quickly there may not be time to warn you.


It is important to remember that you may not always get a warning. It is important to stay informed and watch the weather conditions around you. In dangerous floods, you may get an Emergency Alert sent to your phone as a recorded message or text message to your mobile phone.


Preparing for floods

Prepare Now


You can prepare for floods by putting together an emergency plan

that outlines what you will do to protect your property.


A good rural emergency plan includes:


. Your risk of emergencies, including floods

. What to do before, during and after a flood

. Where you will go if you evacuate and the safest route

. A plan for moving livestock, pumps and machinery to higher ground

. A list of contact numbers and websites

. Supplies in case you are isolated eg. generator fuel, fodder

. A back up generator if your farm must have electricity

. A prioritised list of the most important things on your farm. At some point you might have to choose which things you have time to save.


Emergency Kit


An emergency kit puts everything you need into one place and should contain supplies for at least three days.


A basic emergency kit should contain:


. A battery operated radio

. A battery operated torch

. Spare batteries

. First Aid Kit

. Your emergency plan

. Gloves


When a flood warning is issued, place in your emergency kit:


. Important papers (passport, birth certificates, insurance papers)

. Mementos and valuables you would like to take with you if evacuated

. Mobile phone and charger

. Strong shoes or boots

. Suitable food and drinking water (for at least 3 days)

. Medications or special requirements

. Pet requirements (food, leash, medications)



Floods and farms




Floods are dangerous and can rise quickly. It is not safe to stay in

a house with floodwater inside or all around it. You may have no

How SES can help you SES volunteers are trained to help in floods, storms, earthquake

power, sewage or phone. During floods, buildings may attract rats, spiders and snakes.


SES crews or other emergency services may advise you to prepare for evacuation. Get ready to leave immediately. When you evacuate, report to a relief centre or, if you choose to shelter with a friend or relative, inform authorities of where you are staying.


Remember that floods may last for days, or even weeks.


When you leave, remember to:


. Take your emergency kit with you

. Turn off electricity at the mains and turn off and secure gas bottles

. Take your pets with you

. Act early as roads may be cut off by floodwater


Livestock and pets


Animals should be included in your emergency plan. You should find the highest ground on your farm (or a neighbour’s farm) where stock can be safely kept until the floodwater clears. All animals should be clearly identified.


For emergency assistance during a flood or storm

call 132 500 for the SES.


SES assistance may include:


. Rescuing people from floodwater

. Advising of an evacuation

. Giving flood advice

. Helping protect properties


Other help for farmers


During emergencies, the Department of Primary Industries (DPI):


. Provides advice on animal health and animal disposal, weeds and soil health

. Coordinates rural recovery after emergencies, including floods

. Assists with recovery efforts for farm businesses, people and communities including assessing the loss of rural assets including livestock, crops, pasture and structures.


The DPI website has detailed information about rural recovery

after floods at


Act early and move livestock and animals to higher ground before conditions worsen

If possible, pets should be put into pet carriers or on leads and kept inside the house during a flood. If you evacuate, take your pets with you.


Floods can damage roads and bridges leaving areas isolated. If you decide to evacuate, leave early and if you decide to stay remember that you may become isolated and cut-off for days or even weeks.





Before the flood – get prepared


.Check if your insurance policy covers flood

.Keep a list of emergency contacts near your phone

.Prepare an emergency plan and put together an emergency kit

.Ensure you have adequate food, drinking water, medical supplies and fuel.


When you hear a flood warning

.Listen to your local emergency broadcaster

.Check with family and neighbours

.Move pumps, machinery, hay and livestock to high ground

.Move furniture, electrical equipment and important items onto shelves, tables or benches

.Stock up on essential items in case you become isolated

.Move oils, chemicals and poisons to high shelves

.Use sandbags to block toilets or protect buildings.


During a flood

.In life threatening emergencies, call 000. For flood assistance, call SES on 132 500

.Never drive, walk or ride through floodwater. This is the main cause of death during floods

.Never allow children to play in floodwater. This is the number one cause of death for children and teenagers during floods

.Stay away from drains, culverts and waterways as conditions can change rapidly and floodwater can have strong currents and contain sewage, poisons and debris

.If evacuating, take your emergency kit and pets with you and lock the doors as you leave.


After a flood

.If your property has been flooded, contact your local council for further information

.Have damaged electrical and gas equipment professionally tested prior to use.


Emergency Broadcasters:

UGFM Radio Murrindindi FM 106.9 Alexandra/Lake Eildon, 88.9 Yea/Highlands,

                               98.5 Marysville/Lake Mountain, 98.9 Flowerdale/Hazeldene

ABC FM 102.9 Alexandra, 97.3 Flowedale, 98.1 Eildon, Statewide AM 774

Star FM 93.7 Alexandra, Yea, Mansfield



Electricity Supplier:

Gas Supplier:

Water Supplier:



Insurance Company:



Contact List:


Life threatening emergency

Police, Fire, Ambulance

000 (Triple Zero)  (NOT 911)


TTY 106


State Emergency Service (SES)

For emergency assistance in floods and storms 132 500

SES Information Line 1300 842 737 or 1300 VIC SES

Operates during major emergencies

SES Website



Bureau of Meteorology (BoM)

Weather forecasts and warnings

1300 659 217


Department of Primary Industries (DPI)

Rural, animal and agricultural recovery

136 186



Road closures and hazard reporting



Department of Human Services (DHS)

Relief and recovery advice


Department of Health (DH)

Health and safety advice


Department of Sustainability and

Environment (DSE)

Catchment information