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Property flooding

Floods can occur almost anywhere in Queensland and can rise over days, or in minutes in a 'flash flood'. Don't enter floodwater—even water 30cm deep could sweep you off your feet.

After heavy rain in your area…

  • Keep informed about weather patterns and weather forecasts and act quickly on any advice
  • Stay away from rivers, creeks and drains
  • Get to higher ground
  • Never try to drive, ride or walk through floodwater.


Check the Bureau of Meteorology for:

When you hear a flood or storm warning:

  • activate your emergency plan
  • stay tuned in to warnings and updates on your radio
  • move vehicles, outdoor equipment, garbage, chemicals and poisons to higher ground
  • sandbag indoor drains to prevent sewage backflow
  • plan which indoor items you will raise or empty if water threatens your home (e.g. fridge and freezer)
  • make sure your emergency kit is fully stocked
  • secure your pets.


If you need to evacuate, follow the evacuation tips in your emergency plan.

If you need to evacuate…

  • Pack warm clothing, essential medications, valuables, personal papers, mobile phone, photos and mementos in waterproof bags to be taken with your emergency kit.
  • Raise furniture, clothing and valuables on to beds, tables and into roof spaces
  • Empty freezers and refrigerators, leaving doors open
  • Turn off power, water and gas
  • Put sandbags in the toilet bowl and over all laundry/bathroom drain holes to prevent sewage back-flow
  • Lock your home and take recommended evacuation routes for your area
  • Don't drive in water of unknown depth and current.

If you stay (or when you return)…

  • Listen to your local radio station for official advice and warnings
  • Don't allow children to play in, or near floodwater
  • Avoid entering floodwater. If you must, wear solid shoes and check the depth and current with a stick
  • Stay away from drains, culverts and water over knee-deep
  • Don't use gas or electrical appliances that have been in floodwater until checked for safety
  • Don't eat food that has been in floodwater
  • Boil tap water until supplies have been declared safe.

Flooded forget it

Don't ignore the dangers

Each year, emergency services receive calls for help from people who have ignored traffic signs and road closures and become stranded in floodwater—putting themselves and their rescuers at risk. Think about the consequences of your actions. Don't risk your life or the lives of others.

Don't play in or around floodwater

Children drown every year in floods. Warn children of the dangers—don't let them play in or around floodwater.

Types of floods

There are three different types of flood that can occur in Queensland.

Flash flooding is the most dangerous. It is often the result of short, heavy bursts of rainfall and can occur anywhere in Queensland.

If you enter floodwaters, the speed and power of the fast-moving water could sweep you and your vehicle away.

There may be no warning for a flash flood.

Mountain or coastal rivers quick onset flooding occurs in the mountain headwater areas of large rivers and in rivers that drain to the coast.

There is little time to prepare as the floodwater moves quickly down the steep rivers.

The fast-moving floodwater is dangerous and can last for two days.

Last updated
9 January, 2018
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