Be Prepared For a Flood


If you live, work or visit a flood prone area there are several steps you can take to prepare yourself, your family, and your property for a flood event. Find out on this page what to do before, during and after a flood.

before a flood

What can you do to start preparing now?

Step 1: Know your risk

Go to the Know Your Flood Risk page to find out if your property is in a flood prone area.

If you have already checked if your property is flood prone, you can find out more information by:

  • Requesting a detailed City of Parramatta Flood Enquiry ApplicationThis will explain heights at which your specific home, business or property could be affected by floodwater.
  • Talking to neighbours and others who may have experienced flooding before.
  • Going to the Check your river and rain gauge levels page whenever it rains to understand what water levels may affect your property.
  • Take note of natural flood indicators; heavy rainfall for many hours, rising creek levels, or ponding water in recreational and drainage areas.

Step 2: Sign up for warnings

City of Parramatta has developed a flash flood warning service for the Upper Parramatta River within the City of Parramatta local government area. It aims to provide early warnings of potential flood risk to residents and businesses in flood prone areas.

Sign up for Flood Warnings

Step 3: Have a plan

Put your plan together using the SES Emergency Plans template. Share it with family, friends and neighbours, and review it annually or after a flood.

Your flood plan should answer all of these questions and more, take the time to sit and write it down. Do you:

  • Know what you would do to protect your property?
  • Know where all your important documents are?  Insurance, passports etc.
  • Know where you will go if your property floods?
  • Know what you will take to keep you safe and warm?
  • Have neighbours, friends or family who may require assistance? Others may have trouble moving during a flood event due to mobility constraints, location or other issues. Consider how you can help others be prepared for a flood event.
  • Know who to call to get help?

For emergency help in storms call NSW SES on 132 500.

In a life-threatening emergency, call 000.

Step 4: Prepare now to act early – create an emergency kit

An emergency kit is a box or bag which contains everything you need to act fast during a flood, it should include:

  • Your Flood Plan
  • Portable radio with spare batteries
  • Torch with spare batteries
  • First aid kit (with supplies necessary for your household)
  • Candles and waterproof matches
  • Important papers including emergency contact numbers
  • Copy of any Home Emergency Plans
  • Waterproof bag for valuables

If you need to evacuating your property, be sure to place in your emergency kit:

  • Fresh food and drinking water
  • A good supply of required medications
  • Any special requirements and supplies for babies, the disabled, infirm and/or elderly
  • Appropriate clothing and footwear

Keep your emergency kit in a waterproof storage container.

Check your emergency kit regularly (remember to check use-by dates on batteries and first aid equipment) and restock items if you need to.

Step 5 – Consider property protection measures

There are a numbers of ways to make your property more resilient to flooding. Specialist companies can provide you will advice on what approach is best suited to your needs. Some examples of the modifications you can make are:

  • Raising plug sockets
  • Tiling floors for easy clean up
  • Fitting non return valves to vents and drainage pipes
  • Flood proofing doorways and windows
  • Tanking basements
  • Underfloor submersible pumps

during a flood

My home or business is about to flood, what should I do?

  1. Protect yourself, your family, pets and any vulnerable neighbours.
  2. Use your flood plan to decide on the next course of action
  3. If your plan is to evacuate or you receive a NSW SES Evacuation Order, act as early as possible as roads may become congested or be closed.
  4. If it is safe to do so, protect your property:
    • Move cars to higher ground
    • Stack possessions of importance off the floor and raise electrical equipment
    • Secure objects that are likely to float
    • Relocate waste containers, chemicals and poisons well above floor level
  5. Stay connected:
    • Listen to your local radio station for information, updates and advice
    • Keep in contact with neighbours, friends and family to make sure everyone is safe
    • Monitor your mobile phone for further NSW SES or FloodSmart Parramatta warnings
  6. If you are trapped by rising floodwater, seek refuge in the highest part of a sturdy building
  7. Never walk in or drive through flood water

For emergency help in storms call NSW SES on 132 500.

In a life threatening emergency call 000.

after a flood

Has the danger passed and what should I do?

After a flood, FloodSmart Parramatta will issue a ‘No Further Impacts’ message explaining that flooding should be receding and no further rise in river levels is expected.

In areas subject to an Evacuation Order the NSW SES will issue an 'All Clear' when it is safe for residents and workers to return.

When returning to your property:

  • Ensure you and your family are safe to return to your property and no further flooding is expected
  • Check the structural stability of your property before entering
  • Look for damage to windows, walls and the roof and be especially cautious of potential contaminants including asbestos
  • Turn off electricity and gas before going inside
  • Check for dangerous wildlife: snakes, spiders etc.

Use a torch to carry out inspections inside buildings

  • When cleaning up wear suitable protective clothing, including boots and gloves
  • Be aware of any slip, trip or fall hazards
  • Have a supply of fresh drinking water
  • When dealing with things that have been in contact with floodwater;
    • All power points, electrical equipment, appliances or electrical hot water systems must be inspected by a qualified electrician before use
    • Gas appliances and gas bottles should be inspected for safety before use
    • All food should be discarded as it is not safe to consume
    • Utensils and personal items should be cleaned/discarded before use

If you have been affected by floods and require assistance, contact Disaster Welfare Services on 1800 018 444.