RESIDENTS in the Clarence Valley at risk of flood damage must put safety ahead of their possessions, says home insurer GIO.
"While safety needs to be everyone's number one concern, if residents are worried about possible potential damage to their property there are a number of steps they can take," said GIO spokesperson Tony Bradley.
GIO advises that Clarence Valley residents listen to the radio for weather warnings and reports from local authorities to confirm if it is safe to stay in the home and secure valuables.
"If you have time to prepare, you can stack furniture and TVs on top of tables and the kitchen bench and move lighter items such as stereos and laptops to higher ground," said Mr Bradley.
"However, if an evacuation order has been issued residents should aim to preserve items such as forms of personal identification, a mobile phone and charger, medical records and important legal documents from your bank, mortgage broker and insurer."
Other precious items to consider rescuing include small personal items with a lot of sentimental value, such as hard drives, cameras, photos and jewellery.
"Personal safety must be put ahead of saving possessions. GIO customers can trust that they're covered for flood no matter where the water comes from," said Mr Bradley.
GIO has included automatic flood cover as a standard feature of all personal home and contents insurance policies since 2008.
Flooding is Australia's most expensive form of natural disaster, with losses estimated at over $400 million a year, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.
Important considerations when your local area is faced with flooding:
- Put together a small evacuation package of keepsakes and things you would hate to lose, in case you need to evacuate quickly.
- Listen to your local radio station, with a battery-operated radio, for storm and power supply updates and any evacuation plans if needed.
- If you have been advised to evacuate, do not drive through floodwater.
- If the warning is early enough and rain hasn't started, check gutters and downpipes to assist water flow and move cars into the garage if you have one.