Flood safety

What to do if your power has been affected by flooding or water damage.

Electricity and water are a dangerous and potentially fatal combination.

If flooding or unusually heavy rainfall is affecting your community, then it can also inundate our electrical infrastructure.

This infrastructure is located close to the communities we serve so is subject to the same risk of flooding as your community.

We advise people to follow three important steps to be prepared:

  1. Be Safe. Your health and safety is the priority.
  2. Be Smart. If the power goes out, you’ll want to stay connected.
  3. Be Ready. Have a plan in place for back-up power.

But if heavy rain or flooding is forecast, then follow these tips to know what to do immediately before, during and after the event.

Beware of fallen power lines

Always treat them as ‘live’ and stay at least 10 metres away. Report them immediately by calling: 13 24 12. If the situation is life-threatening, call 000.

Listen: Beware of fallen power lines

Extreme weather can damage power poles and wires.  

Always beware of fallen power lines. 

Always treat them as ‘live’ and stay at least 10 metres away.

Report them immediately by calling: 13 24 12.

If the situation is life-threatening, call 000. 

00:00
--:--

Before the flood

  • Turn off and disconnect all electrical appliances from electrical outlets.
  • Lift all electrical appliances as high as possible.
  • If you have rooftop solar, then turn off the system at the inverter and at the switchboard. Turn off any associated battery too.
  • Turn off your electricity switches and the main switch at the meter box.
  • If you choose to stay in the property, be aware you may lose power, even if your home or business isn’t affected by water.
  • Check your emergency plan and kit.

During a flood

  • Do not use wet or damaged electrical appliances.
  • Do not stay in a building that is flooded when the power is connected.
  • Stay at least 150 metres away from submerged power poles or other flooded electrical infrastructure. Electricity can travel through water and can cause serious injury.
  • Beware of fallen powerlines and anything in contact with them. Call us to report it immediately on 13 24 12.
  • If you receive a shock or tingling sensation from any electrical appliances, plumbing, metal, sink or bath, then avoid all contact with these objects and call us to report the problem on 13 24 12.

If in a boat or other watercraft in a flood:

  • Be aware that rising flood waters mean overhead powerlines will be closer to you.
  • Do not try to travel underneath powerlines in case surges in flood waters push you closer to them.
  • Do not try to lift or move powerlines.
  • Stay away from power poles, substations, fallen powerlines and any objects in contact with them.

 

After a flood

  • If you have evacuated, then check emergency services information to see if it is safe to return.
  • Check our outage map for the estimated time for power will be back on.
  • If water entered your property then:
    • Do not operate electrical appliances or switch on the power.
    • Do not plug in or use any appliances that have been in flood water until they have been checked by a licensed electrician.
    • You will need to contact a licensed electrician to check and reconnect your electricity safely.
  • If water did not enter your property then:
    • Be careful and make sure it is safe before turning your switchboard back on.
    • If any switches do not turn on, or automatically shut off, this indicates the wiring may be affected.
    • You’ll need a licensed electrician to test wiring and appliances.
  • Wear synthetic or rubber-soled shoes if water is still around.
  • If you have rooftop solar or a battery, then contact your installer or a licensed electrician to check the condition of these devices before turning the system on.
  • If you’re using a generator for back-up power, do not attempt to connect it to the wiring of your home. Use it outside with an extension cord to power appliances like a fridge, directly.

Remember that water can damage your electrical installation and wiring. Even once flood waters subside, mud and debris can conduct electricity. This makes your property and surrounding area highly dangerous. So be cautious.

Power reconnections

If your property has been disconnected or been inundated with water, you will need a registered electrical contractor:

 

Listen: Power reconnections

Power reconnections.

If there is damage to power infrastructure on your property, you’ll need a registered electrical contractor.

Search by location through Energy Safe Victoria at: https://esv.vic.gov.au/licensing-coes/public-register-and-searches/

The electrician will complete a safety and compliance inspection.

Once any repairs are done they will issue a Certificate of Electrical Safety to us (at info@powercor.com.au).

They’ll arrange the reconnection of your power through us by phoning 1300 360 410.

00:00
--:--

Network response

  • We’ve built levees surrounding some of our major infrastructure servicing communities (known as zone substations) to protect them against 1 in 100-year or 200-year flood events depending on the location.
  • We monitor weather closely including flood forecasts and water levels.
  • We may reduce field work leading up to the event so crews are fresh and able to be called in at all hours.
  • Resources including field crews, network operators, Customer Service Agents and equipment are on stand-by for immediate response.
  • If flood waters are at risk of breaching our flood defences, then we may need to turn off our zone substations in the interests of community safety. This also prevents important equipment being damaged, reducing the risk of longer outages and helping us respond faster when the flood waters have reduced.
  • We’ll coordinate with other emergency services for directions to ensure it is safe for our crews to travel into flood affected areas and to respond.
  • Our focus will be on reducing the number of customers affected and restoring power as quickly and safely as possible.
  • We’ll send messages to customers via SMS if there is a power outage and including an estimated time of restoration. Initially, this estimate is dependent on a full site assessment by our crews.
  • We’ll keep our outage map and current outage lists up to date.

Listen: Network response

We monitor weather closely to make sure our crews are ready.

We make sure all high priority maintenance is completed.

Field work may be reduced leading up to the event so crews are fresh and able to be called in at all hours.

Resources including field crews, network operators, Customer Service Agents and equipment are on stand-by for immediate response.

We’ll coordinate with other emergency services to clear fallen trees on roads and for directions to ensure it is safe for our crews to travel into storm affected areas and to respond.

Our focus will be on reducing the number of customers affected and restoring power as quickly and safely as possible.

We’ll send messages to customers via SMS if there is a power outage and include an estimated time of restoration. Initially, this estimate is dependent on a full site assessment by our crews.

We’ll keep our outage map and current outage lists up to date.

00:00
--:--
Our Mobile Engagement and Response Vehicle (fondly known as MERV) may be deployed into affected communities. This provides an on-the-ground place to talk with our people about power supplies and offers 20 charging lockers for small devices like mobile phones as well as cup of hot tea.

Other important sources of information:

State Emergency Services: Call 132 500 or visit ses.vic.gov.au. Download the VicEmergency app at: emergency.vic.gov.au. If you need interpreter services call 13 14 50.

myEnergy portal

Choose your preferences for how we communicate with you in a power outage through this service.

Documents and resources
    question mark icon

    Looking for something else in
    Emergency advice

    Explore another page