Australians are no strangers to extreme weather events or emergencies. From bushfires to floodwaters, there are a variety of situations that can put you and your home at risk.

That’s why having a home emergency plan is so important. To prepare yours, we’ll discuss what to include in your plan and share resources on how to prepare for bushfires, house fires, and floodwater situations too.

What to Include in Your Plan

Across Australia, there are a variety of government resources and tools for plan development. 

For example, the Queensland Government has an interactive tool to build out a personal guide, covering a variety of things to consider. The Victorian SES has prepped a lengthy guide on what you should consider in making a plan, whereas the NSW SES offers a quick checklist of what to remember in an emergency.

Using all available advice from the government, here are some common areas you should include in your plan:

  • Family and household member’s contact details 
  • Medical conditions, medication names, dosages, and how often each household member takes their medication
  • Household members who require special assistance 
  • Details about your pet/s including medications and dosages
  • Doctor/s and vet’s contact details 
  • Vehicles make and registration
  • Emergency contacts (including neighbours, your local council, your kid’s school, and your workplace)
  • Utility company’s contact details
  • Insurers details for your home and contents, car, and pets
  • Household safe meeting point 
  • Electricity, gas, and water supplies at home 
  • Emergency evacuation kit location. 

As part of your plan, you should also have an emergency response kit at the ready. 

Make sure the kit is visible to all household members so that it’s easy to grab if you have to evacuate your home quickly. 

Here’s What to Pack:

  • Radio (battery-powered)
  • Torches
  • A supply of batteries (multiple sizes)
  • Device chargers
  • Mobile phone
  • Food
  • Bottled water
  • Waterproof clothing and comfortable shoes
  • Spare medication and prescriptions
  • A first aid kit
  • Pet essentials 

Being prepared is half the battle. During an emergency, the most important thing is not to panic and know what to do when an emergency arises.

Your Plan When an Emergency Arises

  • Listen for any government advice – If an emergency seems feasible, make sure you listen out for alerts and advice. Have your phone on loud and charged, and ideally, keep broadcast media on (such as TV or radio). As soon as a public announcement is made, you should hear about it.
  • Make the best decision for you – Sometimes, announcements can’t be made in time, such as with flash flooding. If you reasonably suspect that an emergency might be on its way, there is no need to wait for an evacuation notice.
  • Look after yourself and those immediately around you first – Usually, evacuating will be the best option. If this is the case, help you and those with you escape the property, and do not go back in.
  • Know who to call for help – Depending on what emergency you’re faced with, the right person to call will vary. For immediately life-threatening events, 000 (or 112 on mobile) is always the smartest option. For home emergencies or flood rescue, the SES can be reached on 132 500.

Finally, Check Your Home Insurance

Home and/or contents insurance is designed to help cover you from those unexpected emergencies, like house fires and bushfires. You can also add flood cover as an optional extra to your policy.

Budget Direct home and/or contents insurance includes cover for storm and rainwater, fire (including bushfires), earthquakes, and tsunamis. 

But it’s also worth remembering that most insurers won’t cover you for bushfire, storm, storm surge, flood, or tsunami in the first 72 hours of your policy.

If you’re a Budget Direct customer, you can check your insurance certificate for exactly what events you’re covered for, by logging into your Policy Manager.

You May Also be Interested in:

How to Prepare for a Flood

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.

Learn more with our Flood preparation checklist.

How to Prepare for a Bushfire

When bushfire season rolls around in your area, you’ll want to make sure you and your home are prepared as possible.

Learn more with our Bushfire preparation checklist