Be Prepared

Be Prepared

El Niño and La Niña

Many climate conditions affect our country’s weather year-on-year. The strongest influencers on our weather conditions are El Niño and La Niña which form part of a natural cycle called the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). El Niño is a period of warm, dry conditions while La Niña is a period of cool, wet conditions. ENSO operates over a rough cycle between one to eight years.

Living in Queensland means rain and flooding (La Niña conditions) are part of our lives, especially in the summer months, so it’s important we’re ready for any weather event. 

This storm season be one step ahead and arm yourself with the right information to keep you, your home, family and pets safe and sound and remember, rising water can come from many sources, so stay vigilant. To learn more about how a catchment works and where water can flow from, visit the Understand your catchment page, here.

As we edge closer to the wet season, make sure you and your family are prepared by considering the following:

Know the lay of your land

  • Do I know my catchment area?
  • Does my property have a history of flooding?
  • At what height do the rivers closest to me spill their banks?
  • Which rivers and creeks flood first when there is lots of rain?
  • To understand the flood impacts in your area, check the Queensland Government’s FloodCheck online map here.

Know your ABCs and register for alerts and information

  • Download the Sunwater app and register for notifications for your local dam (more info on this below)
  • Check the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) website or app regularly
  • Register with your local council and Local Disaster Management Groups (LDMG) for alerts and notifications and follow them on Facebook.

If you live downstream of a Sunwater dam, ensure you register your details on the Sunwater Emergency Notification Service page, here.

You can also check Sunwater’s Water Storage Levels webpage, here (accessible from our website homepage) for dam water levels and follow Sunwater on Twitter and Facebook for further updates on weather events in your area.

Understand the available emergency action plans and create your own

  • Become familiar with Sunwater’s Emergency Action Plan (EAP) for your local dam. View the EAPs here.
  • Contact your local council to learn what evacuation information is available
  • Have your own plan ready for heavy rain — prepare your family and property so you can respond quickly to rising water levels and flooding. Create your ‘What If’ plan via the Get Ready Queensland website at
  • Make a list of important contacts, including the SES and the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service.

The Sunwater app

With the latest dam information and alerts at your fingertips, the Sunwater app is the perfect tool to stay informed about Sunwater dam operations, including dam water levels and the chance of spilling, especially during heavy rain. 

In the event of an emergency or during extreme weather events, the Sunwater app will be used in addition to the other communication channels of SMS alerts, social media, Sunwater website updates and radio announcements. 

The app’s features include: 

  • Latest dams storage levels
  • Alerts on Sunwater dam outflows 
  • Recreation area and operational updates 
  • Current water quality data 
  • Customised notifications and emails for your preferred dams and regions 
  • Emergency services contacts. 

The app is available to download on Google Play and the Apple App store

Learn how to use the Sunwater app to your best ability, and remember to turn on your notifications.

Sunwater resources

To further prepare you for the wet season, Sunwater has created the following resources:

Print these resources or keep them handy on your device for the upcoming wet season.