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storm or flood event preparedness

storm or flood event preparedness

Preparation and an emergency plan are key, so you’re ready when it happens.  

Here are 10 tips to prepare for possible flooding or outages in or around your home.  

1. Be informed 

Your local radio station, State Emergency Service, and the Bureau of Meteorology website usually share upcoming weather forecasts and flood warnings. If outages occur in your water or wastewater network serviced by Altogether, information can be found by entering your postcode here: https://altogethergroup.com.au/outages-and-maintenance/ 

2. Save important contact details 

Write a list of emergency phone numbers, including local emergency services, hospitals and essential services providers, like gas, electricity and telecommunications. You may need to contact these providers if your home is impacted by flood. Our hotline for your water and wastewater services is 1300 803 803.  

3. Turn off power and gas 

When dealing with potential flooding, your electricity provider may ask you to turn off electricity and gas. Please be aware that your wastewater pump will also not operate thus minimising toilet use is a precaution.  

4. Pool 

Pump down your pools before large rain events to make sure it doesn’t overflow onto your grass or overwhelm the sewer system during the storm. 

5. Take steps to minimise damage and interruption to your wastewater service 

If a flood warning is issued, you can reduce the amount of damage to your belongings by rolling up rugs/carpet, move furniture, electrical items and valuables to a higher level, as summarised by Department of Fire & Emergency Services - Prepare for flooding. 

To help prevent a backflow of sewage in your toilets and bathrooms, eliminate pathways for rainwater to enter your wastewater system. The most common pathway is through sewer overflow relief gullies being installed too low. Make these Plumbing Code compliant as explained in Altogether’s Keeping Stormwater Out of Your Gully guidance note. 

Also ensure that the area around the top of your wastewater collection tank freely drains away from the tank and is compliant with Altogether’s Landscaping Guide. 

6. Make an evacuation plan 

Check with your local council about safe routes and evacuation centres – so you know where to go if your home is no longer safe. It’s a good idea for all family members to be aware of the evacuation plan, and how you will find each other if you become separated. 

7. Decide what to take 

Where possible, you can prepare an emergency kit in advance, including first aid and medications, a torch, food and water, blankets and dry clothing, and important documents. Store any documents or photographs in a waterproof bag to help protect them from water damage. 

8. Protect your car 

Your car is a valuable asset, and even more important if you need it to get away following a disaster. In a flood, consider where your car will be safest – whether it’s on high ground or in a garage. And of course, remember it is not considered safe to attempt to drive in floodwaters – just 15cm of water can cause you to lose control. 

9 Stay safe 

Your safety is paramount and it’s important not to compromise this at any time. While you may want to protect your home and belongings, consider what you need to prioritise if the flood is advancing. 

As advised by the NSW State Emergency Services, it’s not considered safe to walk or drive in floodwaters. As well as hidden hazards and contamination, there’s the risk of being swept away. 

10 Restoration 

Once you venture outside after a storm event, if you notice that your wastewater system control panel (or your neighbour’s) is displaying a red light, please call us on 1300 803 803 to let us know. 

When you’re cleaning up, remember that washing down driveways and patios is an approved use for recycled water. 

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