Being prepared for flooding

Floods in Melbourne cost an estimated $735 million a year, and can have wide-ranging and long-term consequences: from loss of life and injury to damage and disruption. The good news is that a well-prepared community can reduce the impacts by up to 80%.

No matter where you live in the Greater Melbourne region, your property could be at risk of flooding. Especially if you live on low-lying land near creeks, rivers or stormwater drains, it’s important to know your risk, be prepared and act safely in the event of a flood.

Flood resilient guide to retrofitting your home

Our guide for owners of flood-affected homes shows how retrofitting can reduce the impact of future floods and save costs by avoiding temporary relocation and repairs.

Note: the guide is for existing properties not built to relevant flood protection standards. It does not apply to new buildings. An accessible version of the guide is also available.

Melbourne Water works alongside the Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES), Australian Red Cross and councils to educate and prepare the community for floods. For more advice and resources, including information in other languages, visit the VICSES website.

Know your local flood risk

Man and woman bail out flooded home with buckets

Check your local flood risk by using the VICSES local flood guides.

These guides help you understand:

  • the risk of riverine and flash flooding in your area
  • which areas are low lying
  • how flood warnings work
  • how to prepare yourself, your home or your business.

Prepare and plan

From dealing with damage to homes and vehicles, to the loss of pets and personal possessions, the personal and social costs of flooding can be significant. But there are simple actions you can take to help be prepared.

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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
  • identify a safe meeting place for you and loved ones
  • create checklists of what to do and what to pack.

To access the app or template, visit the Australian Red Cross website.

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Sign up to alerts and warnings

The VicEmergency website and app provides Victorians with information and warnings about incidents – including fires, storms, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, shark sightings and more.

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Pack an emergency flood kit

An emergency makes sure you have essential items close at hand if you lose power or need to evacuate quickly. Find a checklist of what to pack in the VICSES’s emergency plan.

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Save emergency numbers

Keep a list of emergency numbers near the telephone or in another place where they’re easy to find.

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Check your insurance

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 that lie beneath the water. Roads can be washed away, bridges can be damaged and floodwater may contain sewage and debris.

To help stay safe:

  • never drive, ride or walk through floodwater
  • never allow children to play in or near floodwater
  • if evacuated, do not return until it is safe to do so
  • follow the advice of authorities.
Last updated:
7 April 2022