Floods can be devastating and can happen anywhere, anytime. Make sure you understand the risks of flooding and take steps to avoid injury or death.

What is a flood?

A flood is an overflow of water that submerges land that is usually dry.  

Flooding can cover hundreds of square kilometres and last weeks, sometimes months.  

In a flood, you and your family could be stranded and put in danger. Some remote areas could be isolated for months.

Did you know? More people die from drowning in floodwaters following a cyclone, than in the cyclone itself.

What causes a flood?

Dangers of flooding

Floodwaters are very dangerous. Water can be deep, fast flowing with strong currents and have sharp objects that can injure or trap you. Floodwaters can also contain toxic waste, chemicals and dangerous animals.  

Not only can floodwater endanger human life, it can also damage infrastructure such as buildings, bridges and roads.

Most flood related deaths have occurred when people have attempted to drive through, walk, swim or play in floodwater.  People have been seriously injured from debris or have drowned after being trapped in their vehicle or washed away in fast flowing water.

People who have taken action to be prepared for a flood before it happens are more likely to keep themselves, their families, their pets and their properties safe during a flood. Find out how to prepare for a flood.

Never try to drive or walk through a flood.

If you choose to drive through floodwater, you are choosing to risk your life and those of your passengers.

Find out more about travelling during a flood.

Know your risk

You and your household may be at risk of a flood even if you have never seen floodwaters near your home. It is important to know the risks of flood in your area, or areas in which you plan to travel.

Contact your local government to find out the flood risk in your area by asking them:

  • What is the flood history?
  • Is there a local flood plan?
  • Are there any roads that are more likely to flood?
  • Will there be an evacuation centre nearby?  
  • Where is the catchment area nearest to my home?

Flood alerts and warnings

DFES and the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) work together to inform the community when there is a flood risk. Once BoM issue a Flood Watch or Warning, DFES will provide alerts and warnings on Emergency WA. There are five warning levels that align with the expected timing of floods.

Prepare for flooding: Review your plan and prepare your home.
Take action now for flooding: Relocate machinery and livestock.
Prepare to evacuate due to flooding: Have your emergency kit ready.
Evacuate now due to flooding: Go to a safer place with your emergency kit.
Cancellation of flood warning: Avoid floodwaters, be careful driving.

How to stay informed

It’s important you know how to access different information sources to stay up to date when travelling in WA because there may not be reliable telecommunications in remote areas.  

Radio tends to be a reliable source of information during outages, so ensure you have a battery-operated radio.

More Information

Prepare for a flood

Find out about preparing your flood plan and steps you can take to reduce the impact and damage from floodwaters.

Learn more

During a flood

There are a number of things you can do to keep your property and belongings safe.

Learn more

Recovering from a flood

Find out what to expect after a flood and what action you can take to recover.

Learn more