Storms are part of life in Australia, but you can help to minimise the impact of this volatile weather on your home by following these simple tips*.
Preparing your home for storms
Taking regular care of your home and garden is a very easy way to ensure a storm never catches you off-guard. This maintenance includes:
- Ensuring your roof is in good condition. This includes repairing or replacing damaged tiles, eaves and gutters
- Keeping gutters and downpipes free of leaves and other debris, so water drains as quickly as possible
- Cutting back trees and overhanging branches
It’s a good idea to engage OH&S qualified experts to do this maintenance for you.
There are also a few simple checks you can do to make sure you’re prepared when a storm hits. These are:
- Checking that your home, contents and car insurance covers are up-to-date and that the amount your assets are insured for is enough to cover them if the worst did happen. You should also check that your home and contents cover includes cover for the clean-up and removal of debris
- Ensuring you know where the mains supply for your power, water and gas are and most importantly, how to turn them off
- Identifying which room in the house is the strongest, as you might need to shelter there in high winds, a severe storm, or a cyclone. This is most likely to be the smallest room with the fewest windows
It’s also a good idea to have some emergency supplies on stand-by, such as:
- Containers to store drinking water
- A spare supply of fuel for your car
- Wide masking tape to help stop windows from breaking
- Hessian bags and sand so you can sandbag indoor drains to stop sewage backwash in case of flooding
When a weather warning for a severe storm is issued, there are a few more things you can do to protect your family and home:
- Disconnect all electrical appliances as well as external TV and radio aerials
- Secure any loose items around your home, like garden furniture, tools and toys, that could cause damage in strong winds
- Fill containers and baths with clean water in case the main water supply is cut off
- Close any window shutters or tape windows in a criss-cross pattern using masking tape. It’s also a good idea to close blinds and curtains
- Park your cars under cover, far from trees, power lines and waterways. If you can’t get your cars under cover, it’s a good idea to secure them with firmly tied blankets to protect against hail damage.
*Information sourced from the Queensland Government Prepared Home Checklist
^Money magazine’s 2014 Best of the Best winner in the Best Innovative Insurance Product category and winner of the CANSTAR award for Outstanding Value Home and Contents Insurance – Australia.
This information has been prepared without considering your personal objectives, financial situations or needs. Before acting on it, please consider its appropriateness to your circumstances.
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