First, find out what the flood risk is in your area. Your regional council can provide you with maps and may have additional resources and information.
If you own a house or another building in a flood-prone area, take steps to reduce potential flood damage:
Install non-return valves in drainage pipes, to prevent sewage backing up into the house.
Reduce water ingress:
Fit water-resistant door and window frames
Install ready-made flood defences, such as flood barriers
Use waterproof sealant on external walls
On your property’s ground floor, avoid fitted carpets, wooden skirting boards and normal (non water-resistant) plaster. These will be damaged by floodwater and will need replacing. Choose instead ceramic tiles for floor covering and skirtings, and water-resistant lime plaster or cement render and water-resistant paint on internal walls.
In kitchens and bathrooms, raise cupboards up on stilts, so that water can flow beneath them. Avoid chipboard or MDF units, which will be damaged by floodwater – install stainless steel, plastic or marine plywood kitchen and bathroom units, which can be wiped down after flooding.
Raise the height of electrical sockets to at least 1.5 metres above ground floor level, to prevent floodwater damage.
Position any main parts of heating or ventilation systems upstairs or raised well above ground level.
Purchase a portable pump, or install an automatic pump, to remove flood water. Pumps can keep the floodwater level low inside.