How to prepare for a flood

Have an emergency plan

Natural disasters can occur at any time. If your property is in an area which is subject to flooding, it’s important to plan to protect yourself, your family, livestock, pets and property from its effects.

The Victorian State Emergency Service website offers information and resources to help you prepare for floods to help reduce the impact a flood could have on your home and family and help you recover faster.

For information on preparing an emergency checklist and plan, see How to plan and prepare for floods.

Tips to preparing for floods include:

  • check if your home and contents insurance covers flooding
  • keep a list of emergency numbers near the telephone
  • put together an Emergency Kit and prepare a home or business Emergency Plan

Further flood preparedness information can also be accessed at the VicEmergency – Preparing for floods.


Make a family and animal evacuation plan and make sure that everybody who lives, works or stays at your property understands the plan.

Discuss contingency plans with neighbours and friends. If you are in a flash flood area, try to identify safer areas and have several alternate routes to ensure rapid evacuation.

Your plan should include where you will evacuate to should the need arise. Your local council will be able to provide information on the location of evacuation centres in your area.

Start moving animals in advance of any danger. Even if the evacuation turns out to be unnecessary, you will have at least practised for the time when it might be.

Livestock and pet emergency plans

All livestock and pets should be included when developing and activating Emergency Plans. Planning helps to minimise the risk to livestock and pets and helps your financial and emotional wellbeing.

Deciding when to enact your livestock and pet emergency plan will be based on the weather or the immediate threat of flood in your area. Listen to the radio and observe your own environment to decide when to put your plan into action.

For more information, visit:

Estimate crop yields and losses

Accurate, early estimations of grain yield and crop loss are important skills in grain production. Farmers require accurate estimates for:

  • crop insurance purposes
  • forward marketing and delivery planning
  • planning harvest and storage requirements
  • cash flow budgeting.

For more information, see Estimating Crop Yields and Crop Losses.


The need for insurance differs from farm to farm according to financial circumstances and an individual’s preparedness to take or share risk.

With rapidly rising operational costs, farmers are often tempted to cut back on insurance and accept more risk. The temptation to do this should be resisted and instead alternatives explored before a decision to accept more risk is taken. Careful financial planning before a crisis is key to ensuring your farming future. Those who insure wisely are the quickest to recover and to begin restoring boundary fencing and planning for their future.

It is important to choose your insurance company carefully. Shop around to get the best deal but always make sure the company you select has a good rural policy and fully understands the needs of a commercial farming or grazing property and of your own personal needs.

Go through your policies with the company representative on an annual basis and adjust where necessary. The increasing complexity and cost of plant and equipment should be considered each year when determining what to insure and to what level.

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) offers a free Find an Insurer service.

The service enables consumers and businesses to search a comprehensive database of general insurers and their products.

Business interruption insurance will return to the insured the amount of profit that would have been earned had there been no flood incident. The cost of this insurance is like asset insurance rates.

Finally, insurance is designed to provide a safe guard against adversity and give peace of mind to those whose assets are vulnerable to the ravages of flood and other disasters.

Your insurer or assessor should always be the primary contact regarding your claim. However, the Insurance Council of Australia can provide general insurance information about managing your claim or how to lodge a complaint.

Please call 1800 734 621 for further information. You can find information on lodging a claim following a disaster at

Insurance checklist

A check list of items to remember includes:

  • home buildings
  • farm buildings
  • machinery (mobile and fixed, including breakdown)
  • fencing
  • all major crops including re-sowing
  • livestock
  • electronic equipment
  • working dogs.
Page last updated: 02 Apr 2024