How to build flood resilience in Brisbane

Your guide to preparing Brisbane buildings for flooding events. Resources and advice for residents, trade contractors and builders.

Have you been affected by the recent flooding event?

We recommend that you read our flood recovery and resilience resources. This has information on how residents, businesses and community clubs can get financial assistance, recovery support, clean up advice and information to build back better following the recent extreme weather event

What is flood resilience?

Flooding is a natural process and can occur anywhere. Our location on a floodplain, along with our sub-tropical climate and unique land features, mean that residents may experience flooding in their lifetime. As our climate changes we want to ensure our community remains safe by adapting and preparing for future flood events from all sources including river, creek, overland and coastal flooding. 

In many cases it’s not possible to completely avoid flooding. Flood resilience means you can plan, prepare, respond and return to normal life with minimal disruption following flooding.  

  • Understand your flood risk – In order to prepare a home for floods, you first need to know what type of effect flood will have on the property.
  • Build for resilience – Preparing your property to reduce the impact of flooding will allow you to get through a flood event with less damage and expense.

Understand your flood risk

It is important to understand the likelihood of flooding for your property and local area to help you prepare for and reduce the impact of flooding on your home or business. Ensure you have answered the below questions for your property.

Where can I find flood information for my property?
Check the Flood awareness maps. This is the official flood awareness map for the Brisbane area. Search your address and download your FloodWise Property report to see if your property is at risk of flooding. You can see what type of flooding may affect your property and what levels you need to prepare for. Learn more about the types of flooding featured in your FloodWise Property report with the Brisbane City Council Flooding in Brisbane Guide for Residents.   
What parts of my property are affected by flooding, and how deep could the flooding be?
A Property Level Survey will show you the exact levels of the land and building on your property. You can obtain one from a professional surveyor. Compare these levels to those in the FloodWise Property report from Council, to understand what parts of your property are likely to be affected by flooding, how often it might occur, and how deep that flooding could be.
How can I be alerted for severe weather events?
Did you know you can receive email and text alerts when a severe storm, flooding or other event is likely to impact your area? Sign up to Brisbane Early Warning Alert Service.

Building flood resilience for homeowners

Now that you know how your property could be affected by flood, you can use that knowledge to work out your own flood resilience strategies.

Choosing flood resilient strategies

There are practical and affordable flood resilience techniques to help you prepare for and recover quickly from flooding events.

Some strategies include raising electrical outlets and hot water units, and using flood-resilient materials. Many recommended techniques already used in the Flood Resilient Homes Program can be found on the flood resilient design strategies overview.

Watch this video for simple flood resilient building and design strategies that require less time and investment:

Watch this video for advanced flood resilient building and design strategies if you’re building, renovating or thinking about it:

What types of resilient materials are available?
Flood waters can cause damage to floors, walls, electrical outlets and cabinetry. By using flood-resilient materials you will be able to recover more quickly after a flooding event. Watch the advanced solutions for homeowners video to see what solutions Brisbane residents are using to build their flood resilience.
Will using flood resilient strategies reduce my insurance premiums?
Incorporating these strategies into your home may also have insurance benefits. Read how incorporating flood-resilient strategies into a Graceville renovation resulted in reduced insurance premiums: Improving the Flood Resilience of Queensland Homes.
My property is already flood-affected. What do I need to know?
If you are affected by a flood, short term strategies will keep you safe and help you get back on your feet while the long-term solutions are being prepared. See what options are available for your home in this Homeowners Guide to Rebuilding After a Flood.

It is important to understand the risks that may exist in your home and surroundings after a flood so that you can stay safe while these strategies are being put into place. To do this, read the Flood Safety Fact Sheet.

Building flood resilience for trade contractors and builders

When working on a flood-prone property, you can adapt what you are currently doing to introduce the best flood-resilient techniques into your work.

Watch this video to learn techniques that will build flood resilience into your clients’ homes:

Why should I consider recommending flood resilience techniques to my customers?
There is a growing demand for flood and climate-resilient strategies when renovating and building new homes. Customers want a home where they feel safe and have peace of mind that their investment is protected. By proactively offering flood resilient outcomes for your clients, you are positioning your business as one that’s up to date with current building techniques. Techniques that consider sustainability, and future-proof your customer’s property against potential flooding.
What are some ways that I can introduce flood resilience into the work I’m already doing?
There are many simple things you can do to make a client’s home more flood resilient. These include applying dry-proofing strategies normally used in the bathroom to kitchens and other areas likely to be affected by flooding. You can also change the materials you currently use to water-resistant materials. Also, think about areas where water may get trapped, such as under-stair cavities, and apply different building techniques that allow flood water to move through and out of the property.

You can learn about flood-resilience strategies for different properties in this comprehensive Flood Resilience Building Guide. Alternatively, read the many recommended techniques that are already used in the Flood Resilient Homes Program here: Flood-resilience strategies.
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