Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES), Victorian Government


Residential FloodSafe – Outer Suburban Case Study


Community Engagement

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Community Resilience Coordinator
Victoria State Emergency Service

Video Transcript

>> LEISHA: I could see the water coming down the street and thinking this isn't normal this is quite a torrent of water. Basically said, "Damien I think we're
gonna flood."

And he told me, "Ah Mum, I think you're hallucinating."

By the time he got out of bed to go to the front door it was coming through.

We then sort of went into panic mode.

It was really pitch black and really scary.

You could see the water coming down like a waterfall out the back.

I stood at the window for probably about five seconds screaming.

Damien had undone this window here because you couldn't get in through
the door here or out.

The water pressure was just too great. So he got out. He had two dogs with
him and I was still inside with one dog when the fridge and the washing
machine flipped.

I don't know how I got out but I got out!

This is actually where the water was up to.You don't know what's under
the ground.

And everything sort of seems... you think you remember but my son
ended up hurting himself quite badly on that letterbox.

This was all underwater.

We went across the street. That felt like 20 fire hoses.

Still dragging dogs. Before I got to the end of the street I had an asthma attack.

I've been in the area 22 years and brought up three kids and yeah...
it's just a pretty little urban sort of spot.

Never even fathomed it would flood.

And I was not prepared.

The next day you sort of walk around in a daze.

Everywhere you looked there was something that wasn't supposed to be
where it ended up.

It looked like a war zone.

The actual clean up, ow, it took over two weeks.

If you hadn't got to it in the first two days it was pretty much a write-off.

We got clothes and stuff out not much else.

Every time you threw something out you know you'd be a bit emotional
but then you'd find something that you really were emotional about.

Mother nature's a force of it's own.

You don't expect this to happen to you.

I'd say the flood has definitely changed the pathway of my life.

We get caught up in day-to-day living and I think it, it puts the brakes on.

People have to move on, people grieve in their own way.

If this was a rental property and I didn't own it I wouldn't particularly choose
to live here and go through that again.

Emotionally it's a rollercoaster. Little things that you thought you've dealt
with but you haven't and they come back and bite you.

If you've got no paperwork to prove anything yeah it's weeks of mucking around.

The basic little problem can take weeks to sort out. 

When it rains yeah it brings back all of the emotions and the biggest one is
the defeat.

The whole time afterwards I just felt defeated.

That's one positive thing that's come out of this whole event. I know my neighbours' names now. In this street it brings the neighbours out when it rains.

It's brought us together. I know where my passport is now. I've got my house paperwork, my insurance paperwork, all my legal documentation. It's all on USB sticks. One at my mum's, one at my sisters and one here.

So yes I'm a lot more prepared!

I have multiple dog leads now. I can tell you at any moment where my handbag is it doesn't get dumped!

The Home Emergency Plan that's put out by the SES is very helpful.

It's like a shopping list.

You can just tick things off, it makes you aware.

It's things that you don't necessarily think are important until you flood.

Being prepared is half the emotional battle. And it's half of your recovery.

It makes the whole process of getting life back to normal so much quicker
if you've got all that stuff.

>> MALE VOICEOVER: The real impact of flooding on a home and the family
can be bigger than you think.

Planning and preparing can reduce the impact of a flood and help yourecover more quickly.

Taking time to think about emergencies and making a plan helps you think clearly, have a greater sense of control and make better decisions when
an emergency occurs.

Creating a home emergency plan only takes a little time and may help save your life or property during an emergency.