Whitehorse City Council

Flood Safety

Storms with heavy rainfall 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 in Whitehorse have caused major damage in the past. They may be accompanied by torrential rain, strong winds, large hailstones and lightning, which can cause flash flooding, un-roof buildings and damage trees or power lines. Australia’s greatest costs, in terms of insured losses, are caused by storms.

> What to do to reduce the impact of flooding?
> What to do during heavy rainfall?
> What to do after heavy rainfall?
> Getting Help
> More Information



What to do to reduce the impact of flooding?

Ensure you do the following before the heavy rainfall season:

  • Check whether your home is subject to flooding by referring to the Whitehorse Special Building Overlay (SBO) and Land Subject to Inundation Overlay (LSIO) sections on the Land Use: Zones and Overlays page 
  • Check your household emergency plan. Refer to the Better Health Channel Flood Site
  • If it is safe to do so, check that gutters, downpipes and drains are not blocked
  • Park your car on higher ground away from trees and safe from hail

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What to do during heavy rainfall?

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
  • For any life threatening emergency, call 000

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What to do after heavy rainfall?

Ensure you do the following after a severe storm:

  • Discourage people, especially children, from playing around high water, storm drains, ditches, ravines or culverts
  • Check your home and property for damage
  • Keep clear of damaged buildings, power lines 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 absolutely 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 power lines – electrical current passes easily through water
  • If your car stalls in rising water, abandon it immediately and seek shelter above the floodwater
  • Be aware that animals, such as spiders and snakes, may enter your house during a flood 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 your local ABC radio station for information and advice
  • Keep in contact with your neighbours where possible
  • Be prepared to leave early if required
  • For a flood and storm emergency call the Victorian SES on 132 500
  • When returning to your home after a flood, take precautions to reduce the possibility of illness, disease or injury. Form more information, refer to the Victorian Government's Flood Hazards information sheet.  

Getting Help:

  • Call the SES on 132 500 from anywhere in Victoria for flood and storm emergency assistance
  • Centrelink (Information on Social Security payments and services) 132 850
  • DHHS - Department of Health and Human Services (For community and housing services) 1300 650 172
  • Salvation Army (Food/Clothing) 137 258
  • Vic Roads (Traffic Hazards) 131 170

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More Information: