Storm and flood emergencies

Visit VicEmergency for current information on storm and flood emergencies.

Storms can happen anywhere, at any time of the year. They are more common in Victoria from October to May, but it’s important to be prepared all year round.

Severe storms can cause major damage. They may be accompanied by torrential rain, strong winds, large hailstones and lightning, which can cause flash flooding, unroof buildings and damage trees or power lines. Australia’s greatest costs, in terms of insured losses, are caused by storms.

Discourage people; especially children, from playing around high water, storm drains, ditches, ravines or culverts.

What to do before the storm

Ensure you do the following before a severe storm arrives:

  • Check that loose items such as outdoor settings, umbrellas and trampolines are safely secured.
  • If it is safe to do so, check gutters, downpipes and drains are not blocked.
  • Park your car undercover and away from trees.

What to do during the storm

Ensure you do the following during a severe storm:

  • Stay indoors and away from windows.
  • If outdoors, shelter away from drains, gutters, creeks and waterways.
  • Be prepared for power outages.
  • Floodwater is dangerous – never drive, walk or ride through floodwater.
  • Floodwater is toxic – never play or swim in floodwater.

What to do after the storm

Ensure you do the following after a severe storm:

  • Check your home and property for damage.
  • Keep clear of damaged buildings, powerlines and trees.
  • Be aware of road hazards such as floodwater, debris and damaged roads or bridges.
  • Do not drive through affected areas unless it is necessary.

 If flooding occurs

  • Avoid driving or walking through floodwaters. If you must enter floodwaters, wear solid shoes, not thongs or bare feet, and check the depth and current with a stick.
  • Stay away from drains, culverts and water that are more than knee-deep.
  • Floodwaters may contain sewage, take precautions when cleaning up flooded areas.
  • Stay away from fallen powerlines – electrical current passes easily through water.
  • If your car stalls in rising water, abandon it immediately and seek shelter above floodwater.
  • Be aware that animals may enter your house during a flood, such as spiders and snakes to find a drier area.
  • Wait for rescuers to come for you, avoid swimming to safety.
  • If outdoors, climb to high ground and stay there.
  • Keep listening to a local radio station for information and advice.
  • Keep in contact with your neighbours where possible.
  • Be prepared to leave early if required.

For advice on cleaning up after a flood visit the Red Cross website.

In case of emergency

For a flood and storm emergency call VICSES on 132 500.

For life threatening emergency call 000.