The reality is that electricity and water do not mix and together they can lead to serious life threatening and safety issues.
Given the unprecedented events of last summer, it is critical that everyone has a better understanding of the electricity network in Queensland. It is also important to understand that while you might not be directly affected by a flood or cyclone, your power supply may need to be disconnected because part of the network has been affected. Therefore Queenslanders need to be prepared in disaster situations to be without power for a period of time.
Building resilience will enhance Queensland's ability to minimise the effects of future disaster events and to efficiently and effectively cope with their impact.
While it's not always easy to prepare for floods, here are some important tips to help you stay safe.
To assist in preparing for future floods and cyclones, it is important that both small and large businesses improve their level of resilience particularly where there is a loss of power.
For CBD buildings
Flooding can lead to significant damage and costly repairs to buildings. This fact sheet sets out some recommendations for the design of CBD buildings to ensure electrical infrastructure is more resilient to floods.
To assist in preparing for future floods and cyclones, it is important that Queenslanders understand how these events might affect the electricity network, and the things they can do to stay safe and ensure that power is restored as quickly as possible.
Before a flood
- Where possible, move any electrical equipment to higher ground.
- Turn off and unplug electrical appliances that maybe inundated.
- Charge laptops and smart phones to check power interruption information on our website.
- Keep important documents, personal effects and vital medical supplies in a waterproof case or bag and keep it handy.
- Secure any item that may become buoyant in your yard such as gas bottles, drums, timber and garden furniture.
- Clean gutters and down pipes so water can drain away quickly.
- Monitor Bureau of Meteorology forecasts and warnings at www.bom.gov.au.
- Have a battery powered radio and spare batteries to listen for emergency information or check our mobile website www.energex.com.au/mobile from your smart phone for updates.
During a flood
- Consider what action you may need to take if power supplies are disconnected.
- Turn power off at the main switch in your switchboard.
- Never operate electrical appliances or switches while standing in water.
- Never connect portable generators to home or office circuits unless you have a changeover switch installed.
- Appliances can be plugged directly into the generator - always read the manufacturer's instructions.
- Listen to local radio stations for weather advice and warnings.
- Follow instructions from local authorities.
- Be prepared to evacuate if necessary.
- Using a boat? Look up and live. You'll be closer to overhead powerlines because of the water levels, and flooding can also make power poles lean.
After a flood
- Before entering your property make sure it's safe.
- Unplug all electrical appliances affected by water and have them inspected by a licensed electrical contractor before use.
- Have a licensed electrical contractor check or isolate any parts of your electrical installation that have been affected by water - especially if the switchboard has been submerged or if your safety switch has tripped.
- Take extra care around your switchboard. If you're in any doubt about your switchboard's safety, stay clear and call a licensed electrical contractor.
- Take care when cleaning up. Fallen powerlines may be hidden in branches, debris or water can be extremely dangerous.
People with solar panels on their roofs should be aware that in the event that electricity supply is disconnected from their home, the panels may still be generating electricity at a dangerous voltage and present an electrical risk. If you believe any part of the solar PV system has been damaged by events such as storms or floods, you need to stay well away from the system until a licensed electrical contractor has been able to attend and make the system safe.
- If you find a fallen powerline, keep well away, warn others and call Energex on 13 19 62 or Triple Zero (000).
- Flood safety fact sheet (PDF 126.7 kb)
This is not an exhaustive list of all safety matters that need to be considered. Whilst care is taken in the preparation of this material, Energex does not guarantee, to the extend permitted by law, the accuracy and completeness of information.
To the extend permitted by law, Energex will not be responsible for any loss, damage or costs incurred as a result of any errors omissions or misrepresentations in relation to the material in this document or for any possible actions ensuing from information contained above.
You require Adobe Acrobat Reader to view or print documents.
Back to top