During a flood:
- Get to the nearest high ground if possible
- Do not drive or walk through floodwaters, 6cm of water can knock you off your feet
- Do not go sightseeing through flooded areas
- Do not drink floodwater, it could be contaminated and bad for your health
- Listen to your local radio stations as emergency management officials will be broadcasting the most appropriate advice for your community and situation.
Don't drive through flood water
We have all seen cars driving through floodwaters, but it is actually very dangerous. The road might have been washed out, or ground the under the road might been washed away. When you drive over it, the road may collapse. It's especially hard to know the condition of the road under the water when it is dark, and you may not even notice water filled dips in the road.
If water is sucked into your engine while attempting to cross floodwaters, you not only run the risk of serious and expensive damage, you may find yourself stranded in the floodwaters.
Most people don't realise how little water is needed to move a vehicle. A small car like a Toyota Yaris, which weighs just over a ton, can be moved by water just 15 centimeters deep, flowing less than walking speed. At a depth of 60 centimeters the car can be washed away. A larger Nissan Patrol four-wheel drive, which weighs 2.5 tones, can moved by 45 centimeters of water and will begin floating in les than a meter of water.
Not only do people put themselves and passengers in danger, but also the lives of emergency services personnel who have to go out and rescue them. If you and your vehicle become stranded in floodwaters, you should climb out the window and wait on top of the vehicle for help.
In addition to the risks to human life, vehicles create small waves that wash into affected properties and cause more inundation and damage.