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Staying safe around flood waters

There are lots of safety factors you should consider after a disaster which has caused flooding.

You should consider all of the following guidelines:

  • beware fallen power lines, damaged trees and flooded creeks
  • don't drive until you know it is safe
  • look out for snakes and other animals
  • do not eat food that has been in contact with floodwater - if in doubt, throw it out.
  • tap water may be used for drinking and food preparation if the local authorities have declared it safe
  • check your home for damage to windows, walls or roofs
  • use a torch to carry out inspections inside buildings and never use matches, candles or lighters
  • if you're returning to your home, make sure electricity and gas is off before going inside - use only a torch until you're sure there is no gas around
  • check that your neighbours are OK
  • do not use any electrical appliances which were submerged and don't handle any wet electrical equipment
  • do not try to replace circuit fuses or switch power onto wiring or other equipment that has been flooded until the electrical installation is thoroughly dry and has been checked by a licensed electrician
  • have gas appliances inspected and cleaned to prevent a gas explosion or fire
  • check your smoke detectors are still working.

Read more about returning home after a flood.

How to stay safe in or near flood waters

Consider all of the following guidelines: 

  • keep children away from 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 and culverts
  • avoid wading even in shallow water as it may be contaminated
  • if you must enter shallow floodwater, wear solid boots or shoes for protection
  • never go into water that is more than knee deep.
  • if you come in contact with water, ensure that all cuts and abrasions you have are cleaned, treated with antiseptic and covered immediately
  • seek immediate medical attention if you have deep wounds, or if any wounds develop redness or swelling
  • always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and clean water.
  • Be Crocwise

    People need to be extremely cautious about any waterways in the Top End, because estuarine (saltwater) crocodiles can move around throughout the year, particularly when water levels rise and flooding occurs.

    Remember that croc danger is real, so don’t risk your life. To report estuarine crocodile sightings in the Darwin region phone 0419 822 859 or in the Katherine region phone 0407 958 405.

    Go to the Northern Territory Government website to read more about crocodile safety and how to Be Crocwise.

    Read how to prepare for a flood.