Prepare for flooding

Rain, storms and floods are a natural part of life in Melbourne but can have a big impact on our way of life.

For flood emergency assistance call the Victoria State Emergency Service on 132 500, and for life-threatening emergencies call Triple Zero (000).

The impacts of climate change bring more unpredictable storms and floods that can harm people, places and our communities. That’s why at Melbourne Water, we manage a complex drainage system across the whole city. We also work within our communities, building their resilience and preparation for flooding events.

And we need your help too! No matter where you live in Melbourne, your home could be at risk of flooding. If your home is situated on low-lying land near a creek, river or drain, it’s especially important to know your risk, be prepared and keep yourself and others safe if a flood occurs.

Understanding floods

Learn why floods happen, what we do and who we work with to minimise their impact on our understanding flooding webpage.

Being prepared for floods

The financial and social costs of flooding can be significant: from dealing with damage to homes and vehicles, to the loss of pets and personal possessions. But there are simple actions you can take in advance, so you’re ready for the next flood – whenever it occurs.

Key steps to help you be prepared:

  • Know your flood risk: Check your local flood risk by using the VICSES local flood guides.
  • Sign up to alerts and warnings: Install the VicEmergency App and create a Watch Zone. Monitor weather warnings and forecasts at the Bureau of Meteorology website.
  • Business flood plan: If you run a local business, create a flood plan to help reduce damage and risk of flooding by downloading the Business flood planning checklist.
  • Create an emergency plan: The Australian Red Cross ‘Get Prepared’ app and Rediplan template can help you find your local emergency services contacts and information, and identify a safe meeting place for you and your loved ones.
  • Pack an emergency flood kit: An emergency kit ensures you have essential items close at hand if you lose power or need to evacuate quickly. Find a checklist of what to pack from VICSES website.
  • Check if your home and contents insurance covers flooding.

Safety during and after a flood

In a flood, the most important thing to do is get out safely. For help, call the Victoria State Emergency Service on 132 500, or if your situation is life-threatening call 000.

Always keep yourself safe. Floodwater is a powerful force and there are many unseen dangers beneath the water. Roads can be washed away, bridges can be damaged and floodwater may contain sewage and debris.

To keep yourself safe:

  • never drive, ride or walk through floodwater
  • never allow children to play in or near floodwater
  • if you’re evacuated, do not return until it is safe to do so
  • follow the advice of authorities.

Retrofitting flood-affected homes

If you own a home in a flood-affected area, you can retrofit it with less damage-prone approaches and materials to reduce the impact of future floods – and save costs by avoiding temporary relocation and repairs. Find out what to consider by downloading our guide:

Flood resilient guide to retrofitting your home (11.68 MB, PDF)

Flood resilient guide to retrofitting your home (accessible version) (4.15 MB, DOCX)

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