Staying healthy during and after floods
Flood related health risks – Information for clinicians
For emergency assistance in a flood or storm, call the State Emergency Service (SES) on 132 500.
For a medical, police or fire emergency call Triple Zero 000.
To report suspicious or unusual activity call NSW Police Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Health advice is also available 24 hours a day from
healthdirect Australia on 1800 022 222.
Avoid entering floodwaters. Unpredictable currents and submerged hazards can be extremely dangerous.
Wear covered shoes and check the depth and current with a stick. Stay away from drains, culverts and water that is more than knee deep.
Visit the State Emergency Service for more information about what to do if there is a flood warning.
For information about road closures due to floods, visit Transport for NSW or call the 24 hour traffic enquiry line on 132 701.
Floodwater and leftover debris may be contaminated with sewage and other hazards.
It is important to understand how you can reduce your risk of injury, sickness or infection in the aftermath of floods and storms.
Avoid all unnecessary contact with mud and floodwaters. When carrying out a clean up, always wear solid shoes and protective clothing. Be wary of snakes, spiders and rats that may have taken refuge in or near your home.
Flood-affected electrical, gas and water supplies and appliances should be inspected by a qualified technician before use.
Drinking water supplies can be affected by floods. If a
'boil water' alert has been issued in your area, follow
it strictly to prevent illness.
It is important to take protective measures to avoid bites from mosquitoes and other pests and consequent risk of disease.
For simple steps to avoid pest borne disease, refer to:
Flood waters contaminated with sewage may carry a range of viruses, bacteria and parasites.