After an emergency

At home

If you were home during an emergency or decide to go home after an emergency you need to:

  • be able to look after yourself if help doesn't come
  • be aware of any dangers and take steps to protect your health and safety
  • if it is safe to do so, help others, including neighbours
  • apply first aid if people are injured and, if it is a life-threatening situation, dial Triple Zero (000) and ask for ambulance.

Let your emergency contact know that you are safe.

Stay tuned to your local ABC radio station. Information may change quickly so check regularly for updates and heed any warnings.

Secure your home

If your home and property have been damaged you'll need to make sure it is secure against further damage.

If you own your home

If you're the owner of the property you are responsible for organising security of your home while you wait for an insurance assessment. Your insurance company will provide you with advice and, if a representative is in attendance, they can organise a contractor to make your home secure. The insurance company may refuse to pay for any losses that occur after the disaster if you have not taken steps to secure the property.

How to secure your home

You'll need to take reasonable precautions to protect your home from the weather and potential theft or vandalism.

Cover any holes in the roof or walls. Make sure that any doors, windows or openings are secure and only approved access to the site is allowed. If necessary, use plywood sheeting or install temporary fencing which can be hired or purchased from hardware stores.

If you are renting

If you rent or lease the house you need to tell your real estate agent or landlord so they can organise site security.

If an urgent repair is required eg burst water pipe, gas leak or dangerous electrical fault every effort should be made to contact the agent or landlord. If the agent or landlord or the nominated repairer can't be contacted you can have the repair carried out by a person who is licensed to carry out the work. The repairer is to provide the landlord with a report on work carried out and the cause of the damage. You will be entitled to recover costs from the landlord of having carried out the repairs.

Housing SA tenants

Phone the 24/7 maintenance centre on 13 12 88.

If your home is part of an investigation

If your home is part of an investigation, it will be the responsibility of the investigation officer or police officer to secure your home. They will put barrier tape around your home to prevent entry as it may not be safe and could compromise the investigation.

If you need to go into your home an investigation officer or police officer may go with you. Once the investigation is finished they will give control of your home back to you.

Power and water

Utilities such as electricity, gas and water are likely to have been shut off or disconnected during a disaster.

The suppliers for your power and water supplies will need to send a qualified tradesperson to inspect and repair any damage to your services and arrange for them to be reconnected.


To report electricity outages or fallen powerlines and to check updates visit the SA Power Networks website or phone 13 13 66.

Reconnection of supply to properties requires confirmation of the safety of electrical wiring, which requires an Electrical Certificate of Compliance from a qualified electrician. Customers who don't have access to an electrician can contact the National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) on 8272 2966 or 0402 384 999.


For natural gas supply outages contact your gas supply company and for gas leaks phone the free 24-hour gas emergency and leak reporting service on 1800 427 5325.

Mains water

To find out if your mains water supply is safe to drink or to report a fault in metropolitan and country South Australia contact SA Water.

SA Water customer service - 1300 650 950

SA Water 24/7 fault report line - 1300 883 121

See the SA Water website for information on:

Phone and internet

Contact your service provider.

Waste management

For replacement of rubbish and recycling bins contact your local council.

It is recommended that you do not move any non-household rubbish or waste until you have checked with your local council on the volume of waste to be sent to landfill stations. If you require temporary bins for this transportation contact your local council. Scrap metal, concrete and bricks should be separated as some materials can be recycled.

The EPA provides advice on waste management issues and disposal of burnt items from bushfires, including:

  • CCA treated timber
  • contaminated water in rainwater tanks
  • chemicals
  • bushfire-affected animal carcasses
  • building rubble
  • wastewater disposal.

Zero Waste provides a service to households and farmers for disposing of certain types of hazardous products.

Hazardous waste

Use the Zero Waste SA Recycle Right directory to find out about recycling options.

More disposal and recycling options for hazardous products include:

  • ammunition, explosives and flares - contact your local police station
  • car tyres - use Recycle Right
  • the national ChemClear for advice on the urgent disposal of chemicals or phone 1800 008 182
  • the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme for televisions and their associated products such as remote controls and keyboards can be dropped off free of charge at various locations throughout the state
  • to recycle mobile phone and accessories find a drop point from the Mobile Muster website
  • most hardware stores accept all types of household light globes for free.

Dead animals

If it is a small animal, such as a pet or wildlife you may wish to bury it on your property. However, if you are unable to do so contact your local council or vet.

In the case of larger animals, such as stock and wildlife you should contact your local council.

For advice to landowners and farmers on the safe disposal of large numbers of animal carcasses contact the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) on 8204 2004 or see bushfire-affected animal carcasses.

Contact information

Environmental Protection Authority (EPA)

Phone (metropolitan) - 8204 2004
Phone (country) - 1800 623 445

Emergency toilet

If you do not have access to a working toilet you can make one yourself or purchase a toilet kit (waste container, seat and privacy shelter) from your local camping or outdoor store.

Make a toilet

A bucket toilet can be set up in a bathroom or laundry.

Use watertight containers such as kitchen rubbish bin or a bucket with a snug fitting cover.

Line the container with plastic bags.

Pour or sprinkle a small amount of household disinfectant such as chlorine bleach into the container each time the toilet is used to reduce odour and germs.

Keep the toilet covered.

Remember to dispose of waste in accordance with local council and health regulations.

For ways to make a long drop toilet see Emergency toilets - Wellington Region Emergency Management.

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Page last updated 27 December 2017

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