Parts of Australia have been declared a natural disaster as torrential rain and flash flooding hits New South Wales and southern Queensland.

As many of us watch the heartbreaking footage on the news of homes and businesses being detroyed and families being evacuated, we hope for everyone to stay safe.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has urged residents to follow local guidance, stay off the roads, and heed evacuation orders if needed, even for those who live in flood-prone areas and may have experienced flooding before.

“This is different,” she warned. “What we’re going through is different to what you’ve been through for the last 50 years. So please take it seriously.”

The Prime Minister, Scott Morrison has praised emergency workers and urges people in flood-hit regions to listen to their advice and warnings, saying “for now, our message is very clear to keep yourself safe, to keep your family safe and those around you to follow the instructions of the very competent, professional agencies and bodies and the volunteers who support them.”

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has urged residents to follow local guidance, stay off the roads, and heed evacuation orders if needed.

NSW SES (State Emergency Services) has the following advice for children and how they can be a ‘FloodSafe Kid’.

According to their website, being a FloodSafe Kid means “pledging to look out for yourself, your family and your friends before, during and after floods”.

This includes:

  • Helping my family, friends and neighbours plan for flooding
  • Helping put together an emergency kit for my home and school and updating the batteries every year
  • Following all instructions given to me by my parents, the NSW SES and other emergency services during a flood
  • Never playing in floodwater
  • Helping my friends become FloodSafe Kids too

SES NSW advises childen to never be allowed to play in floodwater.

The advice online also suggests children get involved in putting together an emergency kit, containing:

  • Portable radio with spare batteries
  • Torch with spare batteries
  • First aid kit (with supplies necessary for your household)
  • Candles and waterproof matches
  • Important papers including emergency contact numbers
  • Copy of any Home Emergency Plans
  • Waterproof bag for valuables

When leaving or evacuating your property, place in your emergency kit:

  • A good supply of required medications
  • Any special requirements and supplies for babies, the disabled, infirm and/or elderly
  • Appropriate clothing and footwear
  • Fresh food and drinking water

Keep your emergency kit in a waterproof storage container.

On a regular basis, check your emergency kit (remember to check use-by dates on batteries and gloves) and restock items if you need to.

Also, keep a list of emergency numbers near your phone or on your fridge.