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:
- Be Safe. Your health and safety is the priority.
- Be Smart. If the power goes out, you’ll want to stay connected.
- 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.
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 inundated 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 20 99.
- 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 20 99.
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.
- 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.
- 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 list up to date.
- 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.
Beware of fallen power lines
- Always treat them as ‘live’ and stay at least 10 metres away
- Report them immediately by calling: 13 20 99
- 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 alive and stay at least 10 metres away.
Report them immediately by calling 132099.
If the situation is life threatening call 000.
If your property has been disconnected or been inundated with water, you will need a registered electrical contractor:
- Search by location through Energy Safe Victoria at: https://esv.vic.gov.au/licensi...
- The electrician will complete a safety and compliance inspection
- Once any repairs are done they will issue a Certificate of Electrical Safety to us.
- They’ll arrange the reconnection of your power through us by phoning 1300 275 804.
Listen: 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 esv.vic.gov.au.
The electrician will complete a safety and compliance inspection.
Once any repairs are done, they'll issue a certificate of electrical safety to us.
They'll arrange the reconnection of your power through us by finding 1300 275 804.
For emergencies that threaten life or property, call 000
For State Emergency Services call 132 500 or visit ses.vic.gov.au
Download the VicEmergency app at: emergency.vic.gov.au
13 14 50
If you need interpreter services call: 13 14 50