If your area is at risk of flooding, here are some things to be mindful of in order to keep yourself safe.
Monitor your flood situation
You may not always receive an official warning before floods begin to impact you, therefore it is important to be aware of the flood situation in your local area.
Monitor the local situation by personally witnessing the height and rate at which floodwaters are rising; maintaining contact with other people in your local community, through trusted social media channels, and local radio stations to receive and share updates on the flood situation.
Monitor the likelihood of flash flooding
Severe Weather Warnings and Severe Thunderstorm Warnings issued by the Bureau of Meteorology warn of the possibility of flash flooding.
When flash flooding is likely, leaving low-lying homes and businesses (evacuation) well before flash flooding begins is the best action to take, but only if it is safe to do so. If you are trapped by rising floodwater, seek refuge in the highest part of a sturdy building. Stay there and call '000' (triple zero) if you need rescue.
Never drive on flooded roads
The major cause of death during floods occurs when people enter or travel through floodwater. Dangers include driving, riding and walking through floodwater, and children playing in floodwater.
Roads and surfaces underneath floodwater can wash away and may not be visible from the surface. Floodwaters can change quickly and may contain hidden snags or debris, as well as chemicals, raw sewage, snakes, spiders and other hazards.
Never drive into floodwater. Stay safe and avoid any unnecessary travel.
Motorists in high-risk flood areas should be aware of evacuation routes and be prepared before extreme weather events. During floods, motorists should follow the advice of authorities and adjust their route accordingly to avoid driving into danger.
Contact your local council for local road closures.
Conditions in floodwaters can change quickly. Roads or crossings that may have appeared safe a short time ago may quickly become dangerous. If in doubt about being able to cross, the safest choice is not to enter floodwaters.
In life-threatening situations call 000 (Triple Zero).
Police have the power to close a road to traffic during any temporary obstruction or danger under the Road Transport Act 2013. The penalty for failing or refusing to comply with the closure is up to $2,200. Under the Road Transport Act 2013, a person must not drive a motor vehicle on a road negligently.
Driving through flood waters can damage your vehicle. It is recommended that if a car has been submerged in water that it be taken to a mechanic and checked.
The Victoria State Emergency Service website has more information on the dangers of driving through floods, warning how a small car can be moved by floodwater only 15cm deep.
If you need extra support or have any questions, we're here to help you 24/7.
Information sourced from: NSW Centre for Road Safety
Image credit: NSW SES Facebook
All content is created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice.