How to Prepare Yourself for a Flood or Landslide | Western Cape Government

How to Prepare Yourself for a Flood or Landslide


floodingA flood occurs when there is a rise in the water level in a specific area until there is too much water for that area to absorb. Floods can be caused by too much rain, blocked rivers and streams, weakened dam walls or storm surges (waves driven ashore by strong winds).

Urban flooding is caused by a lack of drainage. Heavy rain can cause flooding when the city's sewerage system and draining canals are not big enough to drain the rainwater.

What Should I do During a Flood?

  • Monitor current flood warnings. Listen to the radio for emergency warnings, evacuation advice and weather updates.
  • Avoid entering floodwater unless it is necessary, and never underestimate the strength of floodwater, even if you are inside a vehicle.
  • Follow all instructions from emergency authorities.
  • Turn off all electricity and water and take your cellphone with you.
  • Assist elderly and disabled neighbours. 

What Should I do after the Flood?

  • Before entering your house, wait until the water has dropped below floor level.
  • Check with electricity and water authorities to know whether it is safe for you to use these resources.
  • Be aware of contamination if water sources have been flooded; this could be unsafe to drink.

You Can Lessen the Flood and Landslide Risk by:

  • Checking that your drain on your property is in good working order.
  • Removing all dead and burnt trees that could fall onto the property.
  • Placing sandbags where necessary to protect vital areas.
  • Raising the floor level of your house to be higher than the land outside.
  • Listening to weather warnings that are issued by the South African Weather Service.
  • Checking the terms of your insurance policy with regard to flood and mud damage.
  • Advising you neighbour that his boundary wall is diverting water and mud onto your property and bring it to his attention that it is illegal to divert water and mud to another's property.

If there is a risk of a flood or mud flowing to your property, use a different path through the property that will cause the least damage (such as a pathway or stairs) and use sandbags to try and confine the flow to that route.


You can contact these emergency numbers:

  • 112 or 021 480 7700 from a cellphone.
  • 107 from a landline.
  • Report floods: 0860 103 054 or 021 597 6000.
  • Disaster Risk Management Centre: 080 911 4357.

For more information you can visit the City of Cape Town website.

Provided At: These facility categories:
Provided by:
Government Body:
The content on this page was last updated on 12 September 2019