Storm season is just around the corner in Australia. If you live in an area prone to summer storms, it’s time to start getting yourself and your home ready for the season ahead. There are some simple things you can do to ensure your home is prepared and your family is safe this summer.
Summer storms in Australia are known for their ability to appear almost out of no where leaving us with no time to prepare. This highlights the importance of getting yourself ready with an emergency storm plan so you and your family are ready for anything a storm can throw at you.
How to Prepare Your Emergency Storm Plan
Severe storms are extremely dangerous. You need to be properly prepared if you want you and your family to stay safe. The first step to becoming more storm ready is developing an emergency plan. We’ve featured a little guide below for creating your own emergency storm guide at home.
Get your entire household together and talk about the following:
- If you live in a flood prone area of Cairns, where would you go if you need to evacuate?
- If you’re not together during a severe storm, how will you contact each other and where will you meet up?
- If anyone in your family has special needs, establish how can you assist them during a severe storm
- Are your pets going to be safe, and how will you better protect them?
- If you don’t have a garage, where will you keep your car to prevent it from getting damaged?
- Do you have an emergency storm kit?
Record all your answers on a piece of paper titled ‘Household Emergency Storm Plan’ and place it on the fridge.
What to put in your storm kit.
When a severe storm hits, you are often stuck sheltering inside your home or at work. If you don’t want to be left without the essentials like food, water and light, you need to prepare an emergency storm kit. Our kit includes essentials like:
- Plenty of bottled water
- Non-perishable canned food and a can opener
- First aid supplies
- Radio, torch & spare batteries
- Medication (if necessary)
- Spare mobile phone & charger
- Important documents you don’t want to get damaged
- Baby nappies & formula (if necessary)
Remember to pack these supplies in a waterproof container and place it in an easy to reach location.
4 Things to do around your home before storm season.
You can better protect you and your property during a severe storm with some simple home maintenance and preparation. We’ve provided a easy-to-follow guide to make sure your home is ready come storm season.
1. Clean your gutters and downpipes.
Cleaning your gutters is a must do before storm season hits in November. Gutters with built up leaf litter are more likely to clog and you don’t want clogged gutters. A blocked gutter can easily overflow and end up pushing water into your roof cause sever damage to your home and increase the potential of mould growth.
It is also important you clean your gutters in preparation for bush fire season as leaf litter can easily catch alight.
2. Check your roof for damage.
While you’re cleaning your gutters, take a look at the overall state of your roof. Check for things like cracked or loose tiles, raised corners of corrugated sheets and general stability. Roofs with broken tiles are more likely to leak causing major damage to your home. By the same token, homes with lifting sheeting are more susceptible to wind damage.
3. Trim back trees.
Summer storms often bring high winds, with little to no warning. Which is why it’s important your trees are trimmed to weather any storm. Ensure you have no encroaching on powerlines, fallen trees and branches are a common reason for many power outages during storm season. If there are trees growing close to your powerlines we recommended getting in contact with an arborist, do not attempt to trim trees near powerlines.
4. Secure loose items in your yard.
During a storm anything not secured can quickly become lethal. Ensure any loose toys, garden statues, furniture and other are put away or secured to withstand high winds. Not only can these items go flying during a storm and hurt someone, they can also fly into property and cause damage, like broken windows.