With widespread damage to houses, businesses, and agriculture, floods are one of Australia’s most damaging natural disasters.

Being caught up in a flood is serious stuff, which is why it’s essential to have a flood safety plan to protect yourself and your loved ones should the unthinkable happen.

Our flood preparation checklist will give you guidance on what to prepare before a flood, a list of what to include in your emergency kit, and the documents you should keep safe. We’ve also included some useful government links that are specific to your state.

What is a flood?

A flood is defined as: [1]

The covering of normally dry land by water that has escaped or been released from the normal confines of the following:

  • A lake, river, creek, or other natural watercourse (whether or not any of them have been altered or modified)
  • A reservoir, canal, or dam

Are you at risk of a flood?

Remember that floods don’t affect every part of an area in the same way. If you live in an area that’s at risk of flooding then the amount of risk you may experience will depend on the exact location of your home on your land as well as the height of your floor levels.

Before you apply, and your flood cover takes effect, your insurer may rely on multiple resources like the National Flood Information Database and Flood Exclusion Zones to determine the likelihood of different-sized floods in your area.

Flood Zones by State:

If you want to do your own research then these resources show the potential for areas to flood based on main mapping and historical events.

Checking whether your home is at risk of a flood should also be a precautionary step to factor into your house-buying checklist when you start looking for a home.

How to Prepare for a Flood

Floods are very unpredictable and can occur at any time during the year. In Australia, you should prepare your home for a flood before it happens to ensure that you and your family are safe.

Flood Checklist:

  • Prepare a home emergency plan
  • Prepare an emergency plan for pets
  • Develop an evacuation strategy depending on your home and its surroundings
  • Identify risks around your home
  • Identify safe routes and locations to shelter
  • Fix faults around your home
  • Purchase an emergency weather radio
  • Remove leaves, debris, and other items around the home that could cause or contribute to flooding
  • Store any products that contain poisons or chemicals on higher shelves to reduce potential contamination of floodwater

Emergency Documents

  • Prepare a checklist of important family records including:
  • Driver’s licence and/or military ID
  • Birth certificates and citizenship documents
  • Wills and Powers of Attorney
  • Passports
  • Marriage documents
  • Adoption papers
  • Family vaccine records
  • Insurance policy numbers
  • Property records
  • A list of emergency phone numbers that you keep on display

What should be in a flood emergency kit?

  • A first aid kit
  • A torch
  • Portable radio with spare batteries
  • Candles and waterproof matches
  • Rubber gloves and waterproof bags for clothing and valuables
  • A copy of your emergency plan
  • A copy of your emergency contact numbers

Government Directions

Your local council or state/territory emergency service can further inform you on how to prepare, respond and recover from flooding. They will also have local plans, warning systems, evacuation routes, and flood strategies at the ready.

If a flood warning alert has been issued for your area then make sure to check the Bureau of Meteorology – National Warnings Summary for further details. You can also follow them on Facebook or Twitter for regular updates on your specific region:

Does home insurance cover flooding?

As always, home insurance is there to provide peace of mind should the unexpected happen. At Budget Direct you can add Flood Cover as an optional extra to your Home and/or Contents Insurance when you get a quote

You can get a 30%^ discount on your first year’s premium when you purchase a combined home and contents policy and if you’re an existing customer you can then jump online to add Flood Cover to your policy.

And if you meet our underwriting criteria, we’ll approve your application.

More information on Flood Cover can be found here:

Does home insurance cover floods?