The effects of flooding on rural property owners include losses to livestock, crops, fencing, buildings, personal items, farm equipment and machinery.
While damage to crops and fences is usually unavoidable, there is the potential to reduce losses particularly of livestock, irrigation equipment, houses and sheds.
As a rural property owner, you may have experienced many floods. It is important to be aware that larger floods than those previously experienced can occur in our area.
Even if your property is not directly affected by flooding, you may be isolated and require assistance such as the supply of essential items including medication and feed for livestock. While in many cases evacuation will not be necessary, you should consider evacuation as an option if severe flooding is predicted. Deciding to remain in your home when it is inundated or surrounded by floodwater can be dangerous.
If Wolgan Road is damaged by flooding you could be isolated for weeks. Your home may become a refuge for vermin, snakes and spiders. Based on previous experience in Wolgan, there’ll likely be no power, telephone or other services for several weeks and you may be unable to call for help in an emergency.
The NSW SES has developed a Rural Properties FloodSafe Guide for information and advice on floods in rural and remote properties in NSW, and recommends the following actions before, during and after floods:
Before it floods
- Listen to ABC Central West on digital radio or via radio on 1395 AM/94.1FM for information, updates and advice.
- Lift household items and farm equipment on to benches and tables placing electrical goods on top
- Secure objects that are likely to float and cause damage
- Locate important papers, valuables and mementoes
- Put them in your Emergency Kit and take them with you when you evacuate
- Check sheds and outbuildings and relocate waste containers, chemicals, and poisons well above floor level
- Check if your neighbours need help
- Locate and prepare pets for possible evacuation
- If isolation is likely, have sufficient non-perishable food, essential medications fuel and other necessities to last two weeks. Do not forget pet food and stockfeed
- Move livestock to high ground where they can be provided with feed for the duration of the flood
- Relocate fodder supplies to high ground
- Move farm equipment and relocate pumps to high ground.
- Never enter floodwater either by foot or vehicle.
- Keep listening to ABC Central West on digital radio or via radio on 1395 AM/94.1FM for information, updates and advice.
- Keep in contact with your support person and follow your Home FloodSafe Plan
- Be prepared to evacuate if advised
- If able, stack your possessions on benches and tables, placing electrical items at the top
- Locate and prepare pets for possible evacuation. Industry and Investment NSW may provide assistance for pets and companion animals. If you need to vacuate, take your pets with you. Ensure they are caged or leashed. More information is available from dpi.nsw.gov.au or download the Livestock Safety in Emergencies factsheet.
The NSW SES will issue an ‘All Clear’ when it is safe for residents and businesses to return to a flood affected area, previously subject to an Evacuation Order.
Download the latest version of the NSW SES After a Flood Factsheet.
When returning to your property:
- Ensure the structural stability of your property before entering. Check for damage to windows, walls and the roof and be especially cautious of potential contaminants including asbestos
- Make sure the electricity and gas are turned off before going inside. Use a torch to carry out inspections inside buildings
- If power points, electrical equipment, appliances or electrical hot water systems have been exposed to floodwater or are water damaged in any way, they must be inspected by a qualified electrician before use
- Gas appliances and gas bottles that have been exposed to floodwater should be inspected for safety before use
- Wear suitable protective clothing, including boots and gloves, when cleaning up
- Be aware of any slip, trip or fall hazards
- Never eat food which has been in contact with floodwater
- Only use clean utensils and personal items
- Have a supply of fresh drinking water
NSW State Emergency Service website https://www.ses.nsw.gov.au/. As of 6 January 2023.