Despite South Australia's dry climate, many parts of South Australia, including Adelaide, are at risk of flooding. Flooding is considered to be one of the State's most economically damaging natural disasters.
In South Australia, the winter months produce the greatest rainfall but floods can occur at any time of the year. Flooding can be caused by rivers, stormwater or coastal inundation. Flash flooding, which is the rapid onset of flooding following intense rainfall, is often difficult to forecast and occurs without warning.
Urban areas are particularly susceptible to flash flooding due to large areas of roofs and roads which make the water run off quickly.
The risk of flooding in urban and coastal areas is likely to increase in the future due to rising sea levels and increasing urbanisation of the floodplain. Climate change is also expected to increase the intensity of rainfall events.
Government, businesses, communities and individuals all have a role to play in preparing for and responding to a flood.
What can you do?
By knowing what to do before, during and after a flood you can help reduce the effects on you, your family, home and business.
Before a flood
- You should prepare an emergency plan and an emergency kit in advance
- Keep drains clear of debris; sweep up fallen street tree leaves
- Ask your council about local flood plans (or records) which detail problem areas
- Advise neighbours of the impending flood and offer assistance where possible
- Move valuable items, and hazardous items and chemicals that may react with water, to a higher level
- Monitor Bureau of Meteorology forecasts and warnings or listen to your local radio station or ABC Radio
- Place important documents, personal effects and vital medical supplies in a waterproof case
- Secure any item that may become buoyant in your yard (gas cylinders, drums, timber, etc)
- Ensure your pets are safe by including them in your emergency plan
During a flood
- To report an emergency dial 000 (triple zero)
- Secure your property and valuables
- Turn off power sources such as gas and electricity and do not turn anything on again until you are sure it is safe to do so
- Have waterproof bags ready to protect clothing
- Never attempt to drive in floodwaters
- Do not camp in creek beds
- Never enter floodwaters and in particular do not allow children to play in or near them
- If stranded stay with your vehicle
- Stay tuned to local radio or ABC Radio for current weather advice and warnings
After a flood
- Before entering your property make sure it is safe to do so and the floodwater has dropped below floor level
- Do not turn on any lights or powerpoints until a qualified electrician has checked the entire electrical system in your home, including all appliances
- Do not allow children to play in or near floodwaters
- Boil tap water until supplies have been declared safe
- When floodwater rises, it is common for spiders, snakes, rats and mice to look for a drier home - often inside our properties. If you have floodwater through your property check for unwanted visitors
For extreme storm warnings refer to www.bom.gov.au/sa/warnings/