How to prepare for a flood

Aussies aren’t strangers to extreme weather like storms and heavy rainfall, which can cause flooding. While certain areas are more prone to floods than others, you may be at risk even if you've never had floodwaters near your home.

Prepare for this flood season by making a flood emergency kit and evacuation plan and consider checking whether your home and contents insurance is up to date.

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Review your home and contents insurance

Think about checking whether your home and contents sum insured is up-to-date and meets your needs in the event of loss or damage. If you’re unsure how much cover you may need, we have an easy-to-use Building Calculator and Contents Calculator to help you estimate a cost to rebuild your home or replace your contents.

You might also want to consider checking if your home and contents insurance policy provides cover for flood damage. If you’re a GIO customer, you can find the relevant policy documents here.

All GIO Home Insurance policies include cover for storm and flood#* as well as fire, bushfire* and theft. We also help cover:

  • temporary accommodation costs
  • removal of debris, and
  • other repair or rebuilding costs, such as professional fees for architects or surveyors.

Limits, conditions and exclusions apply, so please read the PDS for full details. To update your home and contents sum insured, use the GIO App or GIO Online Services.

Review and update my policy

Create an evacuation plan for a flood

Learn the warning signs of flooding so that you can act quickly.

Discuss what you can do in a flood emergency and create an evacuation plan with your family. Consider the following:

  • Identify the safest and most direct route from your home to high ground.
  • Create a backup plan in case roads or bridges are closed and you can't use your planned escape route.
  • Organise a place to go outside the flood-prone area with friends and family.1

Prepare an emergency kit

According to the NSW State Emergency Service (SES), a flood emergency kit should include the following:2

  • a first aid kit and essential medication
  • extra clothes, toiletries and sanitary supplies
  • plenty of water, non-perishable food, and can opener
  • important documents in a waterproof container
  • portable phone charger and in-car phone charger, and
  • battery-operated radio, torch and spare batteries.

If a flood is imminent

Prepare your home

Depending on the height of the floodwaters and duration that the water remains in situ, it may be extremely difficult to prevent flooding at your home. However, there are some things you can do to help reduce the impact if you are at risk of an imminent flood:

  • Move electrical items, furniture and valuables as high as you can. If you have a house with more than one storey, store them on the highest level.
  • Know where and how to turn off gas, electricity and water mains if it is safe to do so.
  • Consider using sandbags to protect your home against flood damage if it is safe to do so. Visit the SES or your local council's website to learn more about where to get them, how to install and remove them as needed.

During a flood

Both before and during a flood, stay tuned to the information and updates provided by your state emergency or disaster management organisation. If you are leaving your property and heading for higher ground, remember to bring your emergency kit and inform your friends, family or neighbours of where you’re going if possible.

More detailed tips are available via several state and territory government websites:

After a flood

If safe to do so, check if your home and property has suffered any flood damage. If your home has been impacted by a flood and you’re a GIO policyholder, visit our Flood & Storm support page.

You can also easily lodge a claim via the GIO App or GIO Online Services.

Make a claim

Read more:

# Actions or movements of the sea and storm surge are not covered (unless the storm surge damage occurs at the same time as damage caused by storm). Other exclusions apply.

* We do not insure you for bushfire, storm or flood in the first 72 hours of your policy. Very limited exceptions apply. Refer to the PDS for details.

1 NSW State Emergency Services

2 NSW State Emergency Services

Insurance issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as GIO. Read the Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance. The Target Market Determination is also available. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it. 

The information is intended to be of general nature only. Subject to any rights you may have under any law, we do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss or damage, including loss of business or profits or any other indirect loss, incurred as a result of reliance upon the information. Please make your own enquiries.