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What to do in the event of a flood?

Safety first during a flood

If a flood is occurring, and water is starting to come into your property, your safety should be your first concern. Remember that floods can kill! You should take heed of the following should you be caught in a flood.

  • Don't try to walk or drive through floodwater - 150 mm (six inches) of fast flowing water can knock you over and 600mm (two feet) of water will float your car.
  • Don't walk on sea defences, riverbanks or cross river bridges - they may collapse in extreme situations or you may be swept off by large waves.
  • Take care when walking through shallow water - manhole covers may have come off and there may be other underwater hazards.
  • Avoid contact with floodwater - it may be contaminated with sewage.
  • Never try to swim through fast flowing water - you may get swept away or struck by an object in the water.
  • Beware of flooding at dips in the roads, bridges and low spots - turn back if the road is flooded.
  • Beware of pebbles and stones being thrown up by waves - they may hit you, your car or your home.
  • Try to keep calm, and to reassure others - especially children.