Preparing Your Home for a Storm
Storms are a common occurrence across Australia, but even though most of us know these occur regularly during storm season, there are so few of us that actually do anything to prepare our homes for a storm.
Follow these tips to ensure that your home is prepared to minimise the amount of damage, should a storm occur without much warning.
How to Prepare Your Home for Storm Season
Maintain your home
- Check your roof regularly and make sure there are no holes or cracks
- Make sure gutters and downpipes are free of any debris so water can drain away quickly, particularly during large downpours of rain
- If you have trees close to house, make sure they are trimmed at all times, removing overhanging branches and ensuring nothing is touching overhead power lines
- Check for termite infestations, loose fittings and any type of corrosion often. These types of issues can cause your home to fall apart during a storm and are all preventable
By simply ensuring that your home is maintained and looked after, you can minimise the amount of unnecessary damage caused during a storm.
- Make sure your insurance policies are all current and have the right cover in place, particularly when it comes to your home, contents and car policies. Make sure that your policy wording includes debris clean up and removal and that you are covered for natural disasters
- As part of your emergency plan, you should have identified the best room in your house to shelter in. This should be the room with the strongest structures in place, a room that can shelter your family during a severe storm or cyclone
- Make sure one of you knows how to turn off the main supplies for gas, power and water
- As part of your emergency kit, make sure you’ve got fresh water stored in containers, fuel for cooking if power is cut and spare fuel for your car should you need it. Ensure that all fuel is stored safely
Storm warning preparations
If you are warned of a flood, make sure you do the following:
- Unplug all electrical appliances
- Move important items such as outdoor equipment, garbage and chemicals to a higher location
- If you have time, empty the freezer and fridge, raise them off the floor. Stack or move your furniture off site and move valuables and electrical items higher or off site too
- Where possible, sandbag your toilet and other internal drains to stop sewage backflow
- If you’re on a farm, move all livestock to higher ground
If you receive a cyclone or severe storm warning:
- Disconnect all electrical items and remove aerials from TV’s. Turn off your main gas and electricity supplies when told to do so
- Secure any loose items that you have outside, including large outdoor furniture and garden items
- Fill your bath and any buckets with fresh, clean water
- Close all windows and any external shutters and tape in place with a strong tape. Draw your curtains to minimise flying debris
By ensuring that your home is prepared for storm season, you can minimise the amount of damage caused to your home. Make sure your insurance is up-to-date and that you have adequate cover in place as well.