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Storms and flooding preparedness

Flood and storms

Storms and floods can pose a serious threat to property and life, and can occur at any time of the year.

Extreme rainfall events are expected to become more intense in Melbourne on average due to the impact of climate change.

The Victoria State Emergency Service (SES) is the control agency for flood, storm, landslide, tsunami and earthquake emergencies. 

The risk of riverine and flash flooding is higher than average in some areas of Merri-bek. To find out if your residential or business property is at risk of flood damage, view the Merri-bek Flood Guide on the Victorian SES website.

Merri-bek has also produced a flood mapping study of all drainage catchments across Merri-bek, to help us better understand local flood risks. Search your property to see if you are located in an area prone to flooding during an intense rainfall event.

Emergency Contacts

  • The Victoria State Emergency Service (SES) is the control agency for flood and storm emergencies. For assistance for storm related damage call 132 500 or, if it is life-threatening, call triple-0.
  • Vic Emergency can provide information during and after major emergencies on 1800 226 226.
  • If you are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech impairment, you can contact emergency numbers using the National Relay Service.
    - Speak and listen number: 1300 555 727
    - Teletypewriter number: 133 677
    - SMS relay number: 0423 677 767
  • If you need an interpreter to help with emergency information, call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450 (freecall) and ask them to telephone VicEmergency Hotline (1800 226 226).

Ways to stay informed

Preparation before storms and flooding

  • Refer to the VICSES emergency preparedness booklet for flooding and storms
  • Get your home safe and ready: check fences, roofs and gutters; make any repairs that are needed.
  • Trim branches near your home and near power lines or hire someone to do it for you.
  • Ensure your home, contents and car insurance is current and covers your assets adequately.
  • Have a plan and be prepared in case you lose services including power, water, sewerage and gas.

Preparation if severe weather is forecast

  • Move cars undercover and away from trees or secure with firmly tied blankets to minimise damage.
  • Put away or secure loose items like outdoor furniture, trampolines and pot plants.
  • Create a safe place for your pets out of the storm.
  • In some cases, you may need to disconnect electrical items - follow agency advice.
  • Check on neighbours, friends and family members to see if they are safe and prepared.

Advice for staying safe during storms and flooding

  • Stay tuned to your local ABC Radio station for updates, warnings and advice.

  • Stay indoors and keep away from windows.

  • If you're driving, slow down, turn on your headlights and be aware of hazards on the roads.

  • Don't drive into floodwater. A small car can float in just 15cm of water.

  • Never swim or play in floodwater.

  • Call VicSES ( 132 500) for assistance with flooding or storm damage to your home or tree damage to your vehicle. 

  • Refer to our Emergency numbers contact list.

Recovery after storms and flooding

  • Check your house for damage. Phone the Vic SES on 132 500 if there is damage to your home or a tree blocking your exit.
  • Be aware that Vic SES and Council may be inundated with requests for clean ups and assistance and delays may occur.  
  • Stay clear of creeks, drains and other waterways.
  • Be careful of fallen or damaged trees and power lines. Do not enter damaged or flooded buildings.
  • Check on your neighbours as soon as it is safe to do so.
  • Be aware that power outages and service disruptions may continue for some time. Parts of Merri-bek is powered by Jemena and other parts are powered by Powercor - see live outages at these links. 

Protecting your business from flooding

There are things you can do to prepare for flooding and reduce the effects on your business. 

Check if your property is at a higher risk of flooding 

We have produced new mapping to advise property owners and developers about local flood risks. Check if your property is prone to flooding. Even if your property is not identified as a higher risk for flooding, you should still prepare for flooding in extreme weather events. 

Make a plan to prevent flood impacts 

The Victorian State Emergency Service (SES) has a checklist and planning template for businesses to prepare for floods. It offers advice on ways you can design your space to reduce flood impacts, and what to do in an emergency. 

Safe Work Australia also offers guidance on preparing an emergency plan for your business. A plan lets workers and visitors know what to do in an emergency. 

More information on staying safe during floods 

You can visit the Victorian State Emergency Service (SES)’s website for general information about flooding in Merri-bek.