Aerial shot of flooded suburb

reconnecting the power 

Storms and floods can damage the electricity network and interrupt your power supply. In the immediate aftermath of a severe weather event, conditions can be dangerous. Electricity distributors will be working hard behind the scenes to get the power back on as quickly and safely as possible.
Storms and floods can cause dangerous or life-threatening situations. If you find yourself in these situations, call triple zero (000) immediately.

Returning home after storms and floods

If you’ve been evacuated, returning home can be stressful, particularly if there has been significant damage to your property. When severe weather damages the electricity network, your electricity distributor may disconnect your home for safety reasons and you might find yourself without power for a period of time. 

  1. Have you been disconnected?
    As clean up activities get underway, you may notice your power is disconnected. If your property has been flooded or water damaged, DO NOT attempt to turn the power back on or touch the main switchboard - it could cause a serious electric shock.
  2. Contact your electricity distributor
    Your electricity distributor will provide information on how to get your electricity switched back on safely. Depending on where you live and the extent of the damage, you may need a licenced electrician to conduct a safety inspection. This is an important safety and compliance requirement.
  3. Do not attempt to DIY
    Unless you're a licenced electrician, do not attempt to do electrical work after flooding; it's illegal and dangerous. Do not switch the electricity back on until a professional inspection has taken place.

what to watch out for

If your home is damaged by storms, hail, or floods, pay particular attention to solar panels and electrical appliances.

Solar panels

If you suspect hail or water damage to your solar panels, engage a solar-trained and licenced electrician to check for damage. If left unchecked, damaged or cracked panels have the potential to spark fires or give electric shocks. Check with your home insurance provider to see if you can claim the repairs through your policy. 

Keep in mind that solar panels will continue to produce electricity if they are exposed to light, even if your electricity supply has been switched off. Artificial light from emergency services flood lights or streetlights can also produce small amounts of electricity. Find out more about solar panels and how to stay safe around them. 

Damaged electrical appliances

When it comes to damaged electrical appliances, it's best to unplug the faulty appliance and take it to an accredited repair store or dispose of the product. A defective or damaged appliance can spark a fire and deliver a nasty electric shock - it is never worth risking your life. Find out more about electrical appliances and Australian Safety Standards.

preparing for storms and floods

  • Don't get stuck in the dark - have torches and batteries on hand.
  • Keep a hard copy of contact numbers for family, friends, and local services.
  • Keep a USB power bank charged and ready for use.
  • Keep a battery-powered radio on hand. Your local ABC radio is a great station to keep updated with emergency broadcasts. Look up your local frequency beforehand.
  • Turn off your mobile when it’s not in use to conserve battery.

Install safety switches at home

Safety switches monitor the flow of electricity in your house. In the event of a short-circuit, an overload, or equipment failure, a safety switch will almost instantly (within milliseconds) shut off power to the system or appliance in trouble. All homes in Australia should have safety switches installed.

Safety switches can be found on your switchboard and will have a ‘Test’ or ‘T’ button on them. If there are no switches with ‘Test’ or ‘T’ buttons, it means there are no safety switches on the property. If this is the case, ask your licenced electrician to install them. Find out more about safety switches and how they work.

Teach kids how to call 000

It's important your children know what to do in an emergency. Teach your children to call triple zero (000) immediately in a dangerous or life-threatening situation.

Pointing at electricity switchboard

find a licenced electrician

Finding a licenced electrician is the best place to start. Master Electricians Australia (1300 889 198) or the National Electrical and Communications Association (1300 361 099) will be able to help find a licenced electrician in your area. 

In an emergency call 000

your electricity distributor

Information icon
Check your electricity distributor's website or social media for updates on power outages.
Electricity distributors in Australia have resources including outage maps that can be accessed online. Many also give live updates via social media.
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Contact your electricity distributor to report fallen wires or damaged poles and powerlines.
If you notice an electrical hazard, report it to your electricity distributor immediately, either online or by phone.