Severe weather is a natural part of living in the North Burnett.  Becoming familiar with past weather events that have impacted your community is an important part of preparing for extreme weather events.  Visit the Harden Up page to see what events have occurred in your area previously.

Risks in the North Burnett include:

Severe Storms

In the North Burnett it is not uncommon to experience severe weather such as thunderstorms, hail storms, dry electrical storms and wind storms.

While we are not affected by coastal problems such as tidal surges or tsunamis, we can feel the effects of cyclones and the extensive rain depressions left in their aftermath. For example, in 2013 ex-tropical Cyclone Oswald brought widespread heavy rainfall to our region,  in just a few weeks, causing severe flooding and damage.


Severe Storms or Thunderstorms can produce hail, wind gusts, flash floods, tornadoes and lightning which can cause death, injury and damage to property. You can be left without power or cut off by flooded roads.

Severe weather is a natural part of living in North Burnett. Every year, the North Burnett experiences severe storms and it’s important to take the time to prepare your family, pets and property.


Before the storm season begins follow the guide below to prepare yourself and your family.

Prepare your home

  • Check and clean your roof, gutters and downpipes.  If any roof tiles or sheets are loose have them repaired.
  • Trim trees and remove branches that overhang buildings, but call a professional tree trimmer if they are near powerlines.
  • Identify loose objects in your yard such as outdoor furniture and toys that will have to be put away or secured if a storm approaches.
  • Protect sky lights with wire mesh and fit glass windows and doors with shutters or insect screens.
  • Have a supply of plastic shopping bags or sandbags to fill with sand for emergency storm water diversion.  Sand for sandbagging can be obtained by contacting Council on 1300 696 272 or SES on 132 500. For tips on how to sandbag and prepare visit http://www.disaster.qld.gov.au/Be_Prepared/sandbagging.html.
  • Include some basic materials in your Emergency Kit (Fact Sheet 3) that can assist with emergency repairs such as masking tape and plastic sheeting or large garbage bags, rope, timber strips, hammers and nails.
  • Make sure your insurance is up-to-date and enough to cover your home and contents.  It’s a good idea to take photographs of your home and possessions.  Keep copies of any insurance documentation away from the home as well, maybe at work or with a family member or friend.
  • Install a surge protector in your home to protect sensitive electronic equipment.

Prepare yourself and your family

  • Be aware of severe storm patterns in your area, for example, which direction do the storms typically come from, where does storm water flow, where the rivers and creeks are, what are your potential evacuation routes and where they may get cut.
  • Be aware of the media outlets you can obtain weather warnings from and if you have a smartphone install a few useful weather and emergency apps.  See Fact Sheet 5 for more information.
  • Prepare an Emergency Kit (Fact Sheet 3)
  • Identify the safest place in your home to shelter should a severe storm turn nasty. Typically the bathroom or laundry, or somewhere central in the house away from windows in case they shatter, or under the house.
  • Make sure your Emergency Plan is up to date (Fact Sheet 1) and that everyone in your household understands what will happen in an emergency situation.  Don’t forget your neighbours who may need assistance (Fact Sheet 6).



  • Have your mobile phone fully charged. Don’t use a fixed telephone during a severe storm due to lightning danger.
  • Secure loose garden furniture, toys etc inside or under cover.
  • Turn off and unplug electrical items, external TV/radio aerials and computer modems.
  • Make sure vehicles have a full tank of fuel and park under solid shelter or cover with firmly tied tarpaulins/blankets.
  • Secure all external doors and windows and draw curtains.
  • Shelter and secure animals.
  • Keep valuables and your emergency kit handy.
  • Fill containers with water in case water supplies are cut.
  • Listen to your (portable) radio for severe storm advice and warnings.
  • Stay inside and shelter well clear of windows, doors and skylights.
  • If driving, stop clear of trees, powerlines and creeks.  Never drive on flooded roads, even in a small amount of water the current can pick up your car and sweep you way.  Remember ‘If Its Flooded Forget It!’.
  • If outdoors, seek solid enclosed shelter.
  • If the building starts to break up, shelter in the strongest part (eg, internal room, hallway or built-in wardrobe) under a mattress, doona or a strong table or bench.


  • Listen to your local radio for official warnings and advice;
  • If you need emergency assistance, phone Triple Zero ‘000’ – for life threatening emergencies;
  • Be cautious around fallen branches, debris and water as there could be hidden fallen power lines.  Always assume they are ‘live’ and dangerous.  Report them immediately to Triple Zero ‘000’;
  • If you experience tingles or shocks from electrical appliances or water taps, call Ergon immediately on 131670, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  And call your licensed electrician to check your electrical wiring immediately.
  • Beware of damaged buildings, trees and flooded watercourses;
  • Check for structural property damage and cover with plastic sheeting and nailed on wood strips.  If you are unable to make repairs or sandbags yourself and require assistance contact the SES on 132 500. Refer to your emergency phone numbers for further assistance;
  • Be available to help neighbours if required;
  • Don’t go sight-seeing.

As the North Burnett is predominantly an agricultural region, we are constantly faced with the threat of bush fires, especially during prolonged dry spells. These can be caused by lighting strikes, “burning off”, or by sparks from equipment such as welders.

Bushfires can become a major disaster. Please remember to put preventative measures in place and always phone your area Fire Warden to obtain a Fire Permit before any burning occurs on your property.


House fires always pose a risk, especially from faulty electrical equipment or following power surges. And, as our homes become more reliant on many different electrical gadgets, the chance of house fires escalates.

Fire prevention and evacuation plans are essential for the safety of all households. We encourage you to take the following steps:

  • install smoke detectors and check their batteries every 6 months (or less)
  • turn electrical equipment off at the wall rather than leaving them on standby
  • make an evacuation plan and practice it with all members of your household – it may be the difference between life and death


Whether you live in town or in a rural area, it is essential you have considered what you and your family would do if a bushfire was to threaten your home.  During a bushfire you and your family’s survival and safety depend on your preparations, and the decisions you make.

Whether your plan is to leave early or stay, you must prepare your home and property to increase their level of resilience and your chances of survival.

The Fire Danger Rating (FDR) is an early indicator of potential danger and should act as your first trigger for action. The higher the rating the greater the need for you to act.  The FDR is an assessment of the potential fire behaviour, the difficulty of suppressing a fire, and the potential impact on the community should a bushfire occur on a given day.  A Fire Danger Index (FDI) of ‘low-moderate’ means that fire will burn slowly and that it will be easily controlled, whereas a FDI in excess of ‘catastrophic 100+’ means that fire will burn so fast and so hot that it will be uncontrollable.

Please Note:  The below information is a general guide.  For a more comprehensive guide of what to do to prepare,  act and survive refer to www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au.


Prepare your home

  • Ensure your house number is clearly displayed (for emergency service crews);
  • Mow your lawn regularly;
  • Remove excess combustible material (e.g. dry grass, dead leaves and branches) from your yard;
  • Move any flammable items such as wood piles, paper, boxes, crates and garden furniture well away from the house;
  • Trim low-lying branches (those under 2m in height);
  • Keep gutters clear of leaf litter;
  • Buy and test gutter plugs;
  • Enclose open areas under decks and verandahs;
  • Install fine steel wire mesh screens on all windows and doors;
  • Make sure any LPG cylinders are upright and relief valves are pointed away from the house;
  • Check that pumps, generators and water systems are working;
  • Replace any damaged roofing and seal any gaps;
  • Check that your Household Emergency Plan (Fact Sheet 1) and Evacuation Kit (Fact Sheet 2) are up to date.


If you live in a rural area and wish to undertake a fuel reduction burn before the bushfire season you must first obtain a Permit to Light Fire.

An application for a ‘Permit to Light Fire’ is made through your local fire warden. Following receipt of your application the fire warden may impose conditions on a permit to reduce unwanted risk or nuisance to other people, property or to the environment. The fire warden may refuse to issue a permit if they believe that appropriate safety measures cannot be reasonably achieved.

To apply for a permit you must:

  1. Complete both sides of the Permit to Light Fire application form (available from your warden or the below link)
  2. Contact the owners/occupiers of the land adjoining the property where you wish to light a fire and advise them of your intention to apply for a permit. You need to allow them 72 hours in which to contact the Fire Warden and raise any concerns regarding the intended fire. Record the time you contact them on the Application form and also note if they have or have not objected. If the neighbours do have an objection, they should contact the local Fire Warden. If you cannot contact the owners/ occupiers, note this in the application form.
  3. Contact your local Fire Warden to submit your Application.

For more information on Permit to Light Fire visit the Rural Fire Service Queensland website or call your local warden.

Council Controlled

If you wish to ‘burn off’ along a Council Road Reserve or any other Council Controlled Reserve you must:

  1. Complete and submit an ‘Application for Approval to Burn a Rural Road Reserve or Other Council Controlled Reserve’ to North Burnett Regional Council.  See this page for further information.
  2. If granted, a Letter of Approval will be issued to the Applicant. This Letter of Approval must then accompany your Application for Permit to Light Fire as per the above.  This letter must accompany your permit at all times.

For more information or to obtain an application form please contact Council’s Environmental Department on 1300 696 272.

State Controlled

If you wish to ‘burn off’ along a State Controlled Road Reserve you must:

  1. Contact the Department of Transport and Main Roads on (07) 4154 0200.
  2. Provide the Department with: Landholders name and address
     Property address and lot on plan details
     The name of the adjoining road
     Approximate dates to burn
     The name of your Fire Warden

The Department will complete a Permit to Burn over the phone.  They will provide your warden and yourself with a Permit which outlines the conditions.  This must be done prior to applying for your Permit to Light Fire with your warden.  A copy of the DTMR permit should be kept with your Permit to Light Fire at all times.

Who is my Fire Warden?

If you do not know who your Local Fire Warden is you can use the online Fire Warden Finder.  Simply enter your address and click on the map to display the contact number of the Warden responsible for that area.  Alternatively you can call 4152 3244 for more information.


  • The Bureau of Meteorology issues Fire Weather Warnings when the Fire Danger Index (FDI) is expected to reach or exceed a value of 50 either today or the next day.
  • Warnings are broadcast on radio and television. The Standard Emergency Warning Signal (SEWS) is used when bushfire threatens life (Fact Sheet 5).
  • Emergency Alert – is the national telephone warning system used by emergency services to send voice messages to landlines and text messages to mobile phones within a defined area, about likely or actual emergencies.  For more information on Emergency Alert visit   http://www.emergencyalert.gov.au/.

These messages are delivered through local TV and radio. However, you should not expect that detailed information to be available every time there is a bushfire.


Leave early

If you plan to leave early then you must leave your home well before a bushfire threatens and travelling by road becomes hazardous. Your leave early preparations include:

Step 1: Preparation – your property should be well prepared for bushfire even if you intend to leave early.

Step 2: What you will do – make your Bushfire Survival Plan in accordance with your decision to
leave early.

Step 3: Make a contingency plan – the FDI, the preparedness of your home, a change in household circumstances, a change in your physical preparedness or unexpected visitors are some things that may require you to reconsider your Bushfire Survival Plan.

Consider leaving a note advising you have evacuated.  Emergency services will then know you are safe and accounted for.  If you leave your pets behind include their name and details on the note.

Remember – Leaving late can be a deadly option.

Always avoid travelling in areas where bushfires are burning.  If you get caught in the path of a bushfire turn around and drive to safety – don’t attempt to drive through.

Planning to stay

Planning is critical to successfully staying with your home.  Staying with your home may involve the risk of psychological trauma, injury or death.

Step 1: Preparation – your property must be able to withstand the impact of bushfire and well prepared to shelter you and your family.

Step 2: What you will do – make your Bushfire Survival Plan in accordance with your decision to

Step 3: Make a contingency plan – the FDI, the preparedness of your home, a change in household circumstances, a change in your physical preparedness or unexpected visitors are some things that may require you to reconsider your Bushfire Survival Plan.

In making your decision to stay, here are a few things you need to consider.

  • Is your property able to withstand the impact of a bushfire?
  • Are you physically and emotionally prepared to stay with your property?
  • Do you have well-maintained resources and equipment and do you know how to use them?
  • Do you have appropriate protective clothing?
  • Will your bushfire survival plan need to be different for weekdays, weekends or if someone is sick at home?
  • Do you have a contingency plan?

When a fire front is approaching

  • Block drain pipes with gutter plugs and fill gutters with water;
  • Remove outdoor furniture, door mats and other items;
  • Move your car to a safe location;
  • Hose down verandahs and vegetation near the house;
  • Turn on sprinklers in the garden;
  • Take down curtains and move furniture away from windows;
  • Fill containers with water, including the bath, sinks, buckets and wheelie bins;
  • Soak towels and place under external doors;
  • Have ladders ready for roof access (inside and outside);
  • Have a generator and pump ready;
  • Prepare livestock and pets;
  • Stay close to the house;
  • Drink plenty of water;
  • Patrol your home for spot fires and extinguish them.

When the fire front arrives

If you decide to stay and defend your home, you should:

  • Take fire-fighting equipment such as hoses and pumps inside (to stop them melting);
  • Patrol the inside of your home, including the ceiling space for embers or small fires;
  • Shelter inside your home on the opposite side of the approaching fire;
  • Maintain a means of escape;
  • Continually monitor conditions;
  • Drink lots of water and regularly check on family and pets.

Contingency Plan

Even if your choice is to stay, you must still have a contingency plan as a part of your Bushfire Survival Plan. A change in household circumstances (i.e. someone home alone or unexpected visitors), a fire danger rating of extreme or catastrophic and the current preparedness of your home are all reasons for you to reconsider your Bushfire Survival Plan. You should identify a safer location (i.e. a neighbour’s home) or a Neighbourhood Safer Place and consider if you should leave early well before bushfire threatens.  For more information if you choose to stay please refer to and complete the Bushfire Survival Plan.


  • Once it is safe to go outside, check for spot fires or embers

 Inside the roof space
 Under the floorboards
 Under the house
 On verandahs and decks
 On window ledges and door sills
 In roof lines and gutters
 In garden beds or mulch
 In sheds or carports
 In woodpiles
 On outdoor furniture

  • Stay at home until the surrounding area is clear of fire;
  • Continue to drink lots of water and listen to your local radio station for updates;
  • Monitor media outlets for updates.


Your bushfire survival plan details how you’ll prepare and what action you will take if threatened by a bushfire.  Your plan must be written down and practised regularly and should take into consideration the ages and physical capabilities of everyone in your household including children and elderly residents. Your plan needs to take into account what you will do based on the Fire Danger Rating.
For more information on completing your Bushfire Survival Plan visit www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au and follow the Bushfire Survival Plan – PREPARE.ACT.SURVIVE. links.


Seismic activity in the North Burnett does occur, however it is generally at very low levels with little community impact. Some small earthquakes have rattled windows and crockery, but none have been powerful enough to cause structural damage.

While the risk is low, it is important to be aware of this seismic activity in our region. Unfortunately, there are no preventative measures for earthquakes, but you can put plans in place in the event one does occur. Please refer to Council’s booklet “Preparing For Disasters” for further information.


Earthquakes occur within the North Burnett more often than you would think.  In recent history earthquakes have been located within rural areas of North Burnett and have not caused damage to property or put lives at risk.  It is important for you and your family to be familiar with the dangers associated with Earthquakes and what to do should an earthquake occur.

Earthquakes are unpredictable and strike without warning. They range in strength from slight tremors to great shocks lasting from a few seconds to a few minutes.  The magnitude of an earthquake is recorded by a seismograph using the Richter Scale.


• Damage to the electricity network causing fallen power lines and telephone lines;
• Broken or split sewer and water mains;
• Roads and bridges can be damaged and be unsafe to drive on;
• Landslides;
• Buildings can be destroyed or become unstable and unsafe.


Although earthquakes are unpredictable and can happen at any time there are still things you can do to prepare yourself should an earthquake hit.
• Find out how and where to turn off power, gas and water supplies;
• Prepare your Household Emergency Plan and make sure everyone understands what is in it (Fact Sheet 1).  This includes a list of emergency phone numbers;
• Prepare your Emergency Kit and make sure it is stocked (Fact Sheet 2);
• Identify your safe areas for during an earthquake. These include under a door frame, table or bench;
• Check that you have adequate household and contents insurance and which hazards are not covered by the policy.


• If you are indoors – stay there (clear of falling debris outside). Keep clear of windows and overhead fittings. Shelter under and hold onto a door frame, strong table or bench.
• If outside, keep well clear of buildings, overhead structures, walls, bridges, powerlines, trees etc.
• In a vehicle, stop in an open area until shaking stops.  Beware of fallen powerlines and road damage, including overpasses and bridges and listen to your car radio for warnings before moving.


• Expect aftershocks
• Listen to your local radio station and heed warnings and advice on damage and service disruptions (Fact Sheet 5)
• Turn off electricity and water.  Check for broken water, sewerage or electrical mains and report to Council or Ergon Energy
• Check for cracks and damage to the roof and evacuate the building if it is badly damaged.
• Avoid driving unless for emergency (to keep the streets free for emergency services)
• Do not go sightseeing or enter damaged buildings.


The North Burnett Region is prone to flooding from time to time. Our region encompasses a large catchment area which flows into four rivers – the Auburn, Nogo, Perry and Stuart, all of which join our major river – the Burnett. When flooding does occur, many major and minor creeks also experience significant rises, resulting in road closures and various levels of road damage.

  • Remember! Never drive through swollen creeks or rivers
  • Never swim in storm drains or flood affected areas

Gayndah Flood Map
Monto Flood Map
Mundubbera Flood Map
Link to interactive mapping

Queensland’s subtropical climate means our state experiences flooding from a variety of sources, particularly during the summer storm season from November through to March. However, it is important to note flooding can occur at any time of the year.

There are 4 types of flooding within North Burnett.  These are:

  • Flash flooding: Results from relatively short, intense bursts of rainfall resulting in very fast, powerful, swift moving water.
  • Localised flooding: Occurs when part of the storm water drainage system capacity is exceeded.  Flooding is influenced by infrastructure such as stormwater pipes, roads, fences and walls.
  • Creek flooding: Happens when intense rain falls over a creek catchment.
  • River flooding: Results from widespread and prolonged rainfall over a major river’s catchment area.

The Bureau of Meteorology uses the following flood terms. It is important to know what they mean.

  • Minor flooding: Causes inconvenience. Low-lying areas next to watercourses are inundated which may require the removal of stock and equipment. Minor roads may be closed and low-level bridges submerged.
  • Moderate flooding: In addition to the above, the evacuation of some houses may be required. Main traffic routes may be covered. The area of inundation is substantial in rural areas requiring the removal of stock.
  • Major flooding: In addition to the above, extensive rural areas and/or urban areas are inundated. Properties and towns are likely to be isolated and major traffic routes likely to be closed. Evacuation of people from flood affected areas may be required.
  • Local Flooding: Used where intense rainfall could be expected to cause high runoff in limited areas local to the rainfall, but not necessarily leading to significant rises in main streams.
  • Flash Flooding: Flooding occurring in less than 6 hours of rain, usually the result of intense local rain and characterised by rapid rises in water levels. They are difficult to predict accurately and give little time for effective preventive action.


If your area is flood-prone, you should:

  • Develop a Household Emergency Plan .  This should include Emergency contacts and meeting places in the event that you are separated from your family or you cannot return home.
  • Prepare an Evacuation Kit  and an Emergency Kit .
  • Keep a list of Emergency phone numbers stored in your mobile phone and on display.
  • If you have a traditional landline phone (non-portable), store this in your Emergency Kit for use when you lose power.
  • Prepare your pets – plan how you will look after your pets. Make sure all pets have collars and tags with up-to-date contact information (Fact Sheet 7).
  • Check home insurance is current and adequate. Check it covers you for flooding including clean-up and debris removal.
  • Ensure your home has a safety switch installed and/or consider relocating your switchboard and any wiring in your home to above known flood levels.
  • Teach children how and when to call Triple Zero (000) in an emergency (or 112 from mobile phones).
  • Ensure everyone knows where, how and when to turn off the main power and water supply in case of emergency and evacuation.
  • Know your neighbours – Plan how your neighbourhood could work together (Fact Sheet 6) .
  • Do regular checks and practices of your Household Emergency Plan, Emergency Kit and Evacuation Kit to make sure you’re ready.

For information on preparing for disasters in other languages, click here.

To help prepare and assist your community in preparing for and responding to floods – consider joining the State Emergency Service or register with Volunteering Queensland.


  • Flood warnings, rainfall and river height gauge readings can be found on the Bureau of Meteorology website.
  • Monitor Council’s website or follow Council’s Facebook page for local updates.
  • Sirens and loud-hailer announcements that Emergency Services may use in certain circumstances.
  • Emergency Services personnel who may door-knock your local area to pass on warnings.
  • Emergency Alert – is the national telephone warning system used by emergency services to send voice messages to landlines and text messages to mobile phones within a defined area, about likely or actual emergencies.  For more information on Emergency Alert visit   http://www.emergencyalert.gov.au/.
  • Warnings are broadcast on radio and television. The Standard Emergency Warning Signal (SEWS) is used when floods threaten lives (Fact Sheet 5).  However, you should not expect that detailed information will be available via these avenues every time.


  • Prepare for evacuation as per your Household Emergency Plan (Fact Sheet 1).
  • Check your Evacuation Kit (Fact Sheet 2) and an Emergency Kit (Fact Sheet 3) is fully stocked (including essential medications).
  • Consider if early evacuation is appropriate for you, especially for frail or mobility impaired family members.
  • Check your neighbours (Fact Sheet 6) – Help friends, family and neighbours by passing on warnings.
  • Tune into Warnings (Fact Sheet 5) stay tuned into additional warnings and updates.
  • Move vehicles, outdoor equipment, garbage, chemicals and poisons to higher locations.
  • Secure any items that may float away or move in flood waters e.g. gas bottles, garbage bins.
  • Store drinking water in clean bathtubs, sinks, plastic bottles, cooking pots and any other safe storage containers.
  • Plan which indoor items you will raise or empty if water threatens your home.
  • Prepare your Pets (Fact Sheet 7) – considering moving your pets to a safer place otherwise secure animals inside so that they do not take flight, run away or hide.
  • If you have livestock, move them to a safe area.
  • Where possible, move any electrical equipment to higher ground.
  • Turn off and unplug any electrical appliances that may become inundated with water.


When evacuation is imminent

  • Tune into Warnings (Fact Sheet 5).
  • Don’t wait to be told – Self evacuate to your predetermined evacuation destination if you live in a flood prone area or require support – inform your neighbours/friends/emergency services if you do plan to self evacuate.
  • Plan your evacuation route to avoid flood water and other possible hazards.
  • Raise your pre-determined furniture, clothing and valuables on to beds, tables and into roof spaces.
  • Empty fridges and freezers, leaving the doors open.
  • Place sandbags in the toilet bowl and over all laundry/bathroom drain holes to prevent sewage back-flow.
  • Check your neighbours (Fact Sheet 6) and friends who may need special assistance.
  • Prepare your Pets (Fact Sheet 7) – have your pets ready to go – if you are unable to take your pets with you never leave them tied up or chained and provide adequate food and water in large heavy bowls.
  • Fill your petrol tank and stock your car with emergency supplies.
  • Charge your mobile phone.
  • Call your out of town contact before you leave and once you arrive at your evacuation location. You can also use social media to post your status to let family and friends know you are okay.
  • Consider leaving a note advising you have evacuated.  Emergency services will then know you are safe and accounted for.  If you leave your pets behind include their name and details on the note.

When you have been told to evacuate

  • Act quickly on the advice provided
  • Follow all instructions by emergency authorities and react to changing conditions
  • Turn off all the main power, water and gas supply, unplug all appliances
  • Ensure all family members are wearing strong shoes and suitable clothing
  • Travel light – do not risk your safety with replaceable possession
  • If available – consider putting call-forwarding on and forward your home phone number to your mobile phone number
  • Lock your home and take the recommended evacuation routes for your area
  • Take your pets
  • Take your Evacuation Kit (Fact Sheet 2) and an Emergency Kit (Fact Sheet 3) and commence your evacuation arrangements
  • Seek shelter at your predetermined evacuation location
  • Once evacuated consider registering with the local evacuation center to help others find you or self register on the Register.Find.Reunite. site.  Register. Find. Reunite is launched during emergency situations to help people reconnect with family and friends.


  • Tune into Warnings (Fact Sheet 5) – stay tuned into additional warnings and updates
  • The best option when you are not required to evacuate is to shelter in a safe and secure structure at home or with family and friends
  • Don’t allow children to play in, or near flood waters
  • Be aware of the increase likelihood of contact with wildlife such a snakes and spiders
  • Stay away from drains, culverts and any flowing water
  • Store drinking water in clean and suitable containers.  Any water you suspect may be contaminated should be treated before drinking
  • Keep your  Emergency Kit (Fact Sheet 3) close at hand.


  • Wait until authorities have declared the area safe before entering a flood zone – If you are allowed to return to your home, do so using the recommended routes only
  • Do not go sightseeing
  • Check on your neighbours (Fact Sheet 6)
  • Don’t use gas or electrical appliances  which have been in flood water until checked for safety
  • Check with electricity and water authorities to determine whether supplies to your area have been interrupted and are safe to be turned on by you
  • If you’re experiencing dull or flickering lights, ‘brown out’, low voltage, partial supply tingles or shocks from an electrical appliance or water taps, turn off and unplug appliances at the power point. Do not touch your switchboard or anything metal in your home and call Ergon 13 22 96 immediately
  • Don’t eat food which has been in flood waters. This includes food from fruit trees and vegetable gardens.
  • Boil tap water until supplies have been declared safe. If the water supply system has been flooded, you must assume it is contaminated.
  • Wait until flood water has fallen below floor level before returning to a flood affected  house.
  • Wear rubber boots (or at least rubber-soled shoes) and rubber or leather gloves.
  • When cleaning up your house and yard following a flood, remove any stagnant pools of water to help prevent mosquito-borne diseases.
  • Contact your Insurance company before removing or discarding flood effected items
  • Take photographs of flood affected items and /or buildings to assist with claims. Keep good records of repair and cleaning costs.
  • Stay away from damaged powerlines, fallen trees and flood water
  • Keep children out of drains, creeks or rivers
  • Watch animals closely – Keep all your animals under your direct control. If there has been damage to boundary fences pets may be able to escape from your home. Be aware of hazards at nose, paw or hoof level, particularly glass or downed power lines
  • Do not corner wild animals that have taken refuge in your home – provide an escape route by opening a window or door
  • Do not attempt to move any large dead animal carcass. Contact Council for help and instructions
  • Recognise the signs of disaster related stress. Profound sadness, grief, and anger are normal reactions to a disaster event.


A heatwave is a prolonged period of excessive heat (usually over 36°C), often combined with high humidity.  This unusual and uncomfortable hot weather can impact on human and animal health and cause disruption to community infrastructure such as power supply.


• Identify any particularly at risk members of your family such as babies, young children, elderly people, pregnant women, people on certain medications or with medical conditions
• Consider installing alternatives such as awnings, shade cloth, internal blinds or curtains to help cool your home
• Ensure any air conditioners are serviced regularly
• Listen to weather forecasts for potential heatwaves
• Prepare for a power failure:

  • Plan for what you would do if a heatwave caused failure of electricity
  • If a power failure does occur, ensure you have a torch, fully-charged telephone or mobile phone, battery operated radio and spare batteries


Drink water regularly and eat sensibly

• Drink at least 2 to 3 litres of water a day at regular intervals (even if you do not feel thirsty)
Sports drinks do not replace water. If your fluid intake is limited on medical advice then check with your doctor on how much you should drink during hot weather
• Avoid alcoholic drinks, carbonated soft drinks, tea and coffee as they worsen dehydration
• Eat as you normally would but try to eat cold foods, particularly salads and fruit which contain water
• Avoid heavy protein foods (eg. meat, dairy products) which raise body heat and increase fluid loss

Keep out of the heat

• Plan your day to keep activity to a minimum during the hottest part of the day (11am – 3pm)
• If you must go out then wear lightweight, light-coloured, loose, porous clothes, a wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen and regularly rest in the shade and drink fluids
• Avoid strenuous activities and gardening
• Do not leave children, adults or animals in parked cars

Stay cool

• Wear appropriate clothing to suit the hot weather
• Stay inside, in the coolest rooms in your home, as much as possible
• Block out the sun during the day by closing curtains and blinds and keep windows closed while the room is cooler than it is outside
• Open up windows and doors when there is a cool breeze, when the temperature inside rises and at night for ventilation
• Use fans and air-conditioners at home to keep cool; or spend time in an air-conditioned library and community centres
• Take frequent cool showers or baths and splash yourself several times a day with cold water, particularly your face and the back of your neck

Monitor animals and pets for heat stress

Pets and livestock can be affected by heat related illness and anyone in charge of an animal, livestock or a pet has a duty of care to provide food, water and appropriate shelter for the animal.


• Call Triple Zero ‘000’ for life threatening emergencies
• Seek medical advice from your usual doctor, hospital or health clinic
• Sit or lay the person in a cool spot in the shade or under cover
• Remove as much of the patient’s clothing as possible or loosen tight clothing
• Cover the person with a sheet which has been wet with tap water (NOT iced water)
• Use fans or air conditioning to aid the cooling down process
• Give the patient water to drink, if they can swallow

If the patient becomes unconscious then position them on their side and dial Triple Zero ‘000’


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