How to improve flood resilience for homeowners

A guide to help homeowners prepare their house for flooding events.

Getting started

If you would like to start building flood resilience into your home, consider the steps outlined on this page:

  • What is flood resilience – To start your journey, it’s important to understand the principles and definitions of flood resilience.
  • Understanding your flood risk – In order to prepare a home for flooding, you first need to know what type of effect flooding will have on the property.
  • Different flood resilience strategies available – Preparing your property to reduce the impact of flooding will allow you to get through a flood event with less damage and expense.

What is flood resilience?

In many cases, it’s not possible to completely avoid flooding. Flood resilience offers a cheaper and more convenient way to prepare your property for flooding without having to move.

Flood-resilient design is the use of materials, construction techniques and design choices that can withstand substantial and multiple water inundations to actively mitigate the effects and minimise the cost of flooding. Flood-resilient design enables homeowners to take prior action, easily clean and quickly move back in after a flood event with minimal long-term disruption. By implementing these measures, homeowners can actively mitigate or minimise the effects of flooding and, in some cases, can even reduce their insurance premiums.

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 for your house. Ensure you have done the three steps below.

Understand the flood risk of your land
To find flooding information about your area and land, check Brisbane City Council’s 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. Remember, the FloodWise Property Report will provide you with an estimated flood level based on previous floods and modelling data, however, every flood is unique and water levels may rise higher than previous floods. Consult with your trade contractor to determine what level you would like to build flood resilience to as it may be a good idea to consider a height well above the expected flood level.
To learn more about the types of flooding featured in your FloodWise Property report view the Brisbane City Council Flooding in Brisbane Guide for Residents.   
Understand the flood risks and levels of your property
A property-level survey will show you the exact height of your building’s floor levels above ground level. You can obtain one from a professional surveyor.

Once you’ve received the height of your property’s habitable floor above ground level, compare this to the flood levels in your FloodWise Property Report from Brisbane City Council to understand what percentage chance you have of flooding above that level. Doing this will help you 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.
Be alerted for the next severe weather event
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 for the Brisbane Severe Weather Alert Service.

Flood resilience strategies for homeowners

Now that you know how your property could be affected by flooding, you can use that knowledge to work out which flood resilience strategies will work for your home.

Choosing flood resilient strategies

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

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

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

Raise appliances and power outlets

Use water-resistant flooring and skirting

Install water-resistant cabinetry

See below for some quick tips to build flood resilience in your home.

Maintain your property
Regularly inspect and maintain your property’s drainage systems (such as roofwater pipes, internal plumbing, gutters and stormwater drains) to avoid water entering your home during a weather event.
Raise services and appliances to above the flood level
Raise expensive appliances and services such as washing machines, hot water systems, pool pumps and air conditioning units above the estimated flood level to avoid water inundation during a flood event which can minimise outages and replacement costs.
Separate your electrical circuits
Engage a licenced electrician to separate your upstairs/downstairs circuits, raise power points above the estimated flood level and install breakers to minimise any disruptions to your property’s power.
Use water-resistant flood and skirting materials
Replace carpet with easy-to-clean flooring solutions such as tiles or polished concrete. Also, install water-resistant skirting like stainless steel or tiles to above the estimated flood level.
More flood resilience strategies

View the interactive window below to see how a variety of flood-resilient design strategies are used in a Brisbane house:

Click the links below for more flood resilience design strategies:

More information for homeowners

Before starting flood-resilient works on your home, seek professional advice about the most suitable approach to improving your flood resilience, as each circumstance will be different. 

Find a builder, plumber and building certifier

Queensland Building and Construction Commission: 

For all water and sewer-related enquiries, contact Urban Utilities on 07 3432 2200 or email

Find an engineer

Board of Professional Engineers Queensland:

For more information on flood resilience for homeowners, refer to the frequently asked questions below. Otherwise, you can contact Brisbane Sustainability Agency at

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 quicker after a flooding event. Watch the advanced solutions for homeowners video or read the full list of flood resilient design strategies 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 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.

“It’s a lifesaver”

Kevin ‘Rusty’ Adams adopted flood-resilient design techniques in his Rosalie ground-floor unit after being flooded in 2011 and 2017.

Read this ABC news article detailing how building flood resilience dramatically improved the time, stress and costs involved in Rusty’s flood recovery following the 2022 severe weather event.

Interested in flood resilience but not for a house that you own?

View more tips on how to build flood resilience if you represent an apartment building body corporate, own a business or work in the building, construction and architecture industry. If you are renting, it is recommended to speak to your property manager or owner about improving the property’s flood resilience.

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