Plan to be flood ready and stay safe

The Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) is the control agency for flooding in Victoria, which means that we are responsible for planning for floods, supporting community preparedness and managing flood response if they do occur.  

On this page:

Victoria has many areas that are prone to flooding. Here's how you and your loved ones can be flood ready and stay safe. 


Bag it: Get your sandbags ready and in place to prevent water from entering your property

Block it: Block drains, toilets, and doorways

Lift it: Lift your valuables up high

Leave: Get on your way to a safe destination as soon as possible. 



Responsive ImageDid you know it takes just 15cm of water to float a small car?

Driving on flooded roads is dangerous, and it doesn’t take much to make your car become unstable, lose traction or wash away.

Learn more about our 15 to float campaign.

If you live in, work in or visit areas on low-lying land, close to creeks or rivers, or near major stormwater drains you may be at risk of flooding. Always keep yourself safe.

Floodwater is a powerful force and there are many unseen dangers. Flooding can happen at any time, with little warning. You can’t see what lies under the water. Roads can be washed away, bridges can be damaged and floodwater may contain sewage and debris.

A well-prepared community can reduce the impact of flooding by up to 80%. People who are prepared are more likely to respond to floods appropriately and safely.   People who have planned and prepared for emergencies can help to reduce the impact of emergencies on their homes and families and recover faster.

Take the time to prepare and know what to do before, during and after a flood with the VICSES emergency preparedness booklet for flood and storm.

Stay safe

  • Never drive, ride or walk through floodwater

  • Never allow children to play in or near floodwater

  • If evacuated, do not return until it is safe to do so

  • Follow the advice of authorities (including any requests for evacuation)

  • Leave early before flooding occurs and goto family or friends on higher ground if you can

  • Contact family, neighbours and those you know are at risk to ensure they are aware of the situation and know what to do

  • Learn more about the risk of flooding in your area - Check to see if your community has a Local Flood Guide or local flood information

Sandbagging can help during a flood

Learn how to sandbag using our sandbagging guide.

Learning what to do in a flood - for families

For families, we have created a simple and catchy animation to help you and your community prepare for floods.


  • Plan to stay dry, check how high

  • Bag it, block it, lift it and leave

Prepare an emergency plan

Taking the time to plan for emergencies helps your think more clearly, have a greater sense of control, and make better decisions when an emergency happens. Your emergency plan should include:

  • Emergencies that might affect you

  • How they might affect you

  • What you will do before, during and after an emergency

  • Where you will go if you evacuate and the safest route to get there

  • A list of contact numbers you may need

You can use the VICSES flood checklist to prepare for a flood. 

Further information

There are simple and practical steps you can take to protect yourself, the people you love, and the things you value most. Do one simple thing – create an emergency plan using RediPlan or the Get Prepared app. You can download your Rediplan template by visiting the Australian Red Cross website.

VICSES has developed local flood guides to explain local flood risks for many flood prone communities and support you to prepare for and respond to flood events. 


VICSES have also developed municipal flood emergency plans for emergency management agencies.


The Community Safety Program for Flood details how VICSES works with communities and partners, to achieve more aware, informed and prepared communities; supporting them to understand their flood risk and the relevance of taking action before, during and after emergency events. 

Victoria has many flood-prone communities with thousands of homes, properties and businesses at risk of flooding. Floods cause more damage per year in terms of dollars and lives lost than any other natural hazard in Australia. Flooding can happen at any time of the year.

If you live in, work in, or visit areas on low-lying land, close to creeks or rivers, or near major stormwater drains, you may be at risk of flooding. A well-prepared community can reduce the impact of flooding by up to 80%. People who are prepared are more likely to respond to floods appropriately and safely.  

To understand more about flood warnings, levels and history, head to the know your hazard - flood page. 

During a flood, VICSES help may include:

  • Providing flood advice
  • Protecting essential services
  • Helping to protect properties
  • Rescuing people from floodwater
  • Advising of an evacuation 

If you need help, please call 132 500. If its life threatening, call 000. 

For more information on what the VICSES does in the community, visit the what we do page.

Use the lookup box below to find your local flood guide. You can search by suburb, postcode or council/municipality or browse the flood guides by municipality below: