Shopping list: flood recovery

Floods can occur at any time as a result of adverse weather events, blocked storm water drains, damaged roofs or broken water pipes. Here’s a list of things you may need for on-site flood recovery. We’ve divided it into shopping list for hardware stores, office supplies, and machinery and equipment you might need to hire.

Think about systematically purchasing these items along with a study crate to store them in. Wheelie bins are excellent as they can be easily moved around, survive in all weathers and are strongly constructed. Groups similar things together – tools, gloves, boots and hard hats etc. Make sure to store it somewhere accessible in case of emergency.

If you can’t afford to buy all the materials at once, budget for them over time and allocate someone to find the best price on the more expensive items.

It’s also a good idea to have a list of what’s inside the bin. Type this up, put it in a plastic sleeve and tape it to the inside of the lid – it makes searching for something easier. Oh, and don’t forget to label your disaster bin clearly so whoever is on hand at the time of an emergency can find the things they need.

Some objects, once wet can quickly deteriorate. For expert advice and professional help, you may need a conservator.


The Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Materials (AICCM) have a Disaster response program and a Professional Conservator database. Take a look and keep their contact details handy so you can get help if you ever need it. 

Equipment hire and emergency machinery

Kennards Hire or Coates Hire

  • Wet-dry vacuum
  • Portable dehumidifiers
  • Portable electric fans and blowers
  • Portable generator
  • Portable pump
  • Portable lighting
  • Trolleys for moving crates & heavy objects
  • Portable tables

Refrigerated trucks

Crates and storage boxes

Bunnings Warehouse  or large hardware stores

  • Crates and storage boxes
  • Ladder and step stool
  • Heavy plastic sheeting
  • Plastic drop sheets
  • Plastic garbage bags
  • Extension cords (30mtrs grounded)
  • Plastic buckets and trash cans
  • Water hoses with spray nozzles
  • Car wash sponges
  • Brooms and dustpans, mops, buckets
  • Hard hats
  • Rubber and/or plastic aprons
  • Rubber boots
  • Gloves (rubber/leather)
  • Protective masks/glasses
  • Torches/flashlights/headlight
  • Clothes line (non-staining)
  • Fishing line
  • Hammer
  • Diagonal cutting pliers
  • Combination pliers
  • Flat tip screwdriver
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Cotton twine
  • Water spray bottles
  • Distilled water


  • Freezer bags
  • Polyethylene bags (various sizes)
  • Freezer or waxed paper
  • Plastic buckets and trash cans
  • Paper towels
  • Sponges
  • Brooms and dustpans, mops, buckets
  • Bottled drinking water
  • Hand wash
  • Disposable wipes

Officeworks or selected newsagents

  • Absorbent paper (blank newsprint, craft paper, blotter, etc.)
  • Digital camera
  • Batteries to fit a range of equipment
  • Scissors
  • Clipboards, paper, pens, markers
  • Tape (duct, packing,masking)
  • Utility knife

JB Hifi or electronics store

  • Mobile phone rechargers
  • Digital camera
  • Batteries to fit a range of equipment


  • First aid kit