Community FloodSafe Program in South Australia

Increasing resilience in urban communities facing flood risk.

Community FloodSafe is modelled on the successful NSW SES program of the same name. FloodSafe is a partnership between local councils and state and federal governments. Flood mapping has highlighted the flood-prone areas and each council has nominated the key areas for FloodSafe to target. By working with local communities the SES volunteers will become more familiar with local flood-prone areas and the residents who may need help in storms or floods. 

It began in SA with a pilot program in early 2009 focusing on the southern metropolitan councils. In 2009-10 the program is being expanded to northern metropolitan council areas and close rural areas.   The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) and the Department for Water are also partners in the SA program alongside SES and the Councils of the southern and northern metropolitan area.

The FloodSafe program is funded by the Department for Water, the Adelaide & Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resource Management Board, and local funding from Councils including Adelaide, Mitcham, Marion, Unley, Holdfast Bay and West Torrens. The key creek systems in the first year of the program include Brown Hill, Keswick, Sturt, Chamber, Minno and the Patawalonga. 

From 2009-10 northern waterways including Dry Creek, Gawler, Light, Little Para, North and South Para, Torrens and the Port Adelaide waterways will be added. 

The first northern Councils to join in 2009-2010 are the District Council of Mallala, The Barossa Council and the City of Port Adelaide Enfield. All these councils have significant tidal inundation and storm surge issues along their coast and this broadens the flood risk issues of FloodSafe.

In 2011-2012 the Adelaide Hills council, Onkapainga and Clare and Gilbert Valley  council have joined the program

The FloodSafe program uses existing State Emergency Service volunteers, as well as new community volunteers with good presentation skills, to reach into communities to raise awareness in flood-prone areas. Initiatives include articles in Council newsletters, street corner meetings, community group meetings, internet sites, brochures and school education. The focus will be risk, consequences and self-help.

The volunteers talk to community groups, local residents, businesses and schools about what they can do reduce the risk of flood damage and improve the resilience of their community if a flood should occur.

The FloodSafe volunteers will address communities on:

  • Local risks
  • Historic flooding in the area
  • Having a flood plan to reduce the risk to business equipment, stock and staff
  • Protecting your family and property
  • Understanding BOM Flood Watch and Flood warnings
  • Having a home emergency kit
  • How to call for SES response.

Community Volunteers are being sought to join the FloodSafe program. People with good presentation or teaching skills can be part of the teams going into local communities with the FloodSafe message.  Fifty SES Volunteers from Units across the state trained and are preparing a busy schedule of events each month in the funding council areas.

Telephone Deborah Lamb on 8463 7989 or mobile 0437 831 790 if you would like more details.