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  5. Planning for Floods

Planning for Floods

For emergency help in floods and storms call the SES on 132 500

Warrumbungle Shire Council advises residents to stay away from creeks and stormwater drains. It is recommended that residents using roads, bikeways and footpaths in flood affected areas use caution at all times during high rainfall events. Residents are reminded to stay well away from storm drains at all times. Parents are advised to warn children of the dangers of playing near fast flowing water. Residents should avoid driving in the wet conditions and should not drive through flood waters under any circumstances. Due to a deluge of rain there may be hazards in lower areas, with raised creek and stormwater levels. Debris can remain and the ground becomes very wet and slippery. Residents should take particular care in creek side parks and catchment areas as silt may be deposited as flood waters recede. Rain, flood waters and debris can make footpaths and other paved areas slippery. 

What can I do during a Storm

When a storm warning is broadcast, there are a number of things that you can do;

  •  Listen to your local radio station for information and advice.
  • Bring children and pets indoors.
  • Stay away from windows.
  • Park your car under secure cover and away from trees
  • If outside, seek secure cover away from trees
  • Do not walk, ride or drive through any flood water
  • Stay away from fallen trees and power lines
  • Put your Family Emergency Kit where you can find it easily
  • If you need help from the SES, call 132 500
  • For life-threatening emergencies, call 000
  • While the storm is passing through, stay indoors if possible
  • If you are driving, put on your hazard lights and pull over to the side of the road, clear of floodways, streams, creeks, causeways, trees and powerlines

Health Issues

Flood waters contaminated with sewage may carry a range of viruses, bacteria and parasites.  To prevent illness contact with floodwater should be minimised. Avoid swimming in rivers, lagoons and estuaries for at least three weeks after heavy rain.  When cleaning up, remember to look after yourself.  Drink plenty of fluids and do not wait until you are thirsty.  Have frequent breaks and take care not to get too cold or too hot. It is normal to feel a mix of emotions in emergency situations and these emotions should pass with time. If you experience a prolonged period of distress, please contact your local doctor. It is critical to practice basic hygiene during the flood and clean-up period. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and clean water after handling flood-affected items or participating in any flood clean-up activities, after going to the toilet and always before handling or eating food. Keep children away from flood-affected areas and avoid unnecessary contact with mud and floodwaters. Ensure feet are covered if they are likely to come into contact with mud and always wear gloves when handling flood-affected items or mud. If you don’t let your children play in the toilet DON’T let them play in flood water. All cuts and abrasions should be cleaned, treated with antiseptic and covered immediately.  If you have a deep cut or wound, if a wound has had contact with floodwaters or if a wound develops redness, swelling or discharge, seek immediate medical attention. Should you or any of your family have severe diarrhoea or vomiting, please

House and Yard Clean Up

Wear suitable protective clothing including boots, gloves and eye protection while cleaning up.  Be wary of snakes, spiders and rats that may have taken refuge in or near your home. Electrical equipment and hot water systems affected by floods should be inspected for safety by a licensed electrician before use.  Also gas appliances and gas bottles should also be inspected by a qualified tradesperson. Mould or mildew may develop if items are not completely dried. Mould or mildew may be removed with household bleach, however the strength of the product may ruin some household items. Mosquitoes spread human disease, such as Murray Valley encephalitis and Ross River virus. Avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Use an insect repellent on exposed skin areas and reapply every couple of hours.  Cover up as much as possible with loose-fitting and light-coloured clothing. Farm Chemicals -  Be aware about flood-affected farm chemicals, containers or spills.

Further information look at the NSW Health Web Page www.health.nsw.gov.au  

Last Updated: 13 Jul 2020