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How to prepare your house for floods?

Australia and especially Queensland has many flood-prone communities with thousands of homes, properties and businesses at risk of flooding. Floods are sometimes unpredictable and destructive.

The monsoon season, also known as the wet season is approaching in Queensland. Storms can occur at any time of the year but are more common from November to April in Queensland. So, it is now the best time to take action and prepare your home. A well prepared community can reduce the impact of flooding and is more likely to respond to floods appropriately and safely.

 Are you in a flood area? Contact your local Council to view the flood mapping for your area.

Juvenaire would like to help you to prepare your home and provide you with tips to minimise the risks and the damages due to floods.

 We have established a list of recommendations that everyone should follow before any flood and storm warnings:

  • Check the condition of the roof and repair loose tiles and eaves.

  • Clean gutters and downpipes so water can drain away as quickly as possible.

  • Trim trees and overhanging branches.

  • Secure loose items that could cause damage with high winds (gardens and balconies).

  • Move personal documents, irreplaceable items to a higher floor.

  • Raise electrical items and any white goods.

  • Identify where and how to turn off the mains supply for water, power and gas.

  • Prepare an emergency kit (including drinking water & food, phones, medications, clothes, torch & battery powered radio)

  • Take photos of your property and contents.

  • Ensure that your home, car and contents insurance policy covers you for flooding.

  • Complete the emergency contact card and keep it with you (See picture)

During the floods, your first priority is to look after yourself, your family and the people around you. Before the water reaches you, move your car to a safe place (under cover, away from trees and waterways), but you should never walk or drive through flood waters no matter how shallow they appear to be. Turn off electricity, gas and water.

We advise you to keep listening to a local radio, check weather updates and evacuate when told to do so. For emergency assistance, call 132 500 (SES, Flood Storm Emergency – Queensland).

 After the floods, do not attempt to return to your property until you have been advised it is safe to do so. When returning to your home after a flood, be aware that flood water may contain sewage. The severity of the health threat depends on the source of the water and the extent of penetration into the building environment. The extent of penetration is dependent on the porosity of contaminated materials, the quantity of floodwater, and the amount of time the water remains in contact with materials. Even floodwater or stormwater which has not been directly impacted by sewage discharges is likely to contain a wide variety of microbiological organisms (e.g., from animal wastes, street runoff, etc.) and must be properly managed. Some of these pathogens, such as mold spores, can even establish an ecological niche and present a health risk for some time after the event. Preventive measures and proper clean-up procedures are essential in minimizing the risk of infection.

Do not turn on any devices that have been wet. We also recommend you contact your insurance company to inform them about the situation and keep your property well ventilated to help it dry.

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