Cyclones, storms and floods

Be prepared. Every year Australia’s tropical north is exposed to cyclones, severe storms and strong winds often with driving rain and many lightning strikes. Central Australia experiences its heaviest rainfall during the summer months and can be exposed to storms and strong winds.

Although many of us are used to living in the Northern Territory climate we should not be casual about it. Our Get Set for the Wet+Summer will help you prepare your home and family - don't wait for a severe weather warning until you act.

For more information on what to do before, during and after a cyclone, read our preparation checklists.

The following safety tips could make a difference during a storm or cyclone. Read them carefully and share them with your family and friends. It's particularly important that children are aware of the dangers so they know what to expect and what to do.

Fallen powerlines

Trees, high winds and flying debris can bring down overhead powerlines. Take care when you clean up and if you find something you think may be a powerline, don't take any chances. Assume every fallen powerline is 'live' and dangerous even if there are no sparks. Stay well away, warn others and call 000 or our emergency number 1800 245 090.

Read the FAQs for more information about power interruptions and electrical safety.

Solar panels

Be careful around solar panels after a severe storm or cyclone. They could still be ‘live’ even when the power is out.  Keep your family and yourself safe, and call a professional technician to come out and check them before you use them.


Never swim in floodwaters and stay away from dangerous surging storm water drains. Take care because ‘live' and dangerous electrical wiring, or collapsed power lines, in or near the water may be hidden by debris, such as branches or household rubbish swept along in the storm. There is also a real danger floodwaters could be contaminated by sewage outflows as floodwaters rise.  Read on…

Sewage overflows

Keeping storm water away from the sewer system is critical during the wet season and especially after a heavy rainfall. If storm water goes into the sewer system, pipes can overload and could cause sewage to overflow into homes and properties. Installing overflow relief gullies (ORGs) the right way and keeping them free from debris is essential in preventing sewage backflow. Also, check your down pipes are not draining into the ORG or sewer – this is illegal.  Read the ‘ Keep Storm Water Out of the Sewer ’ brochure for more information about ORGs and problems caused by storm water penetrating the sewer system.

Water and electricity

Never use electrical appliances that may have been affected by water.Have them checked by a Northern Territory licensed electrical contractor before you them. If water comes into your ceiling dont touch or try to turn on any lights or switches, call a licensed electrical contractor immediately.

Read more about power problems and power reconnection.


Don't connect portable generators to your house or office unless a Northern Territory licensed electrical contractor has installed an isolating switch. Appliances can be plugged directly into the generator but before you do this, always read the manufacturer's instructions carefully.

For more information, refer to Generator safety and use.