Storm season has officially begun – and with this, heavy rain, high winds and hail are due to follow.
It’s important to be aware of how quickly storms, cyclones and floods can take place. Having such little lead time can naturally cause even more stress and make it rather difficult to get everything in order.
But while storm related damage may seem like something out of your control, there are many things you can do in advance to give your home the best possible chance at withstanding a wild weather event. Like allowing for regular maintenance checks and procedures, and ensuring your insurance policy is up to date.
Preparing for storm season
We know storm damage may seem like something out of your control. But if you’re proactive, aware of the risks and plan ahead, these things will help to keep you safe and lessen the financial burden.
Regularly monitor the Bureau of Meteorology forecast updates and storm warnings in your area.
Clean out your gutters and downpipes, removing leaves and other debris to prevent water overflowing into the roof cavity.
Secure loose and relatively light objects, including outdoor furniture and play equipment, that might cause nasty damage if blown around.
Check your roof for cracks, broken or loose tiles to help prevent leaks and water damage.
Keep a close eye on the health and maintenance of any large or overhanging trees around your property. Note, old gum trees tend to be particularly problematic, especially after a drought. Remove dead or dangerous limbs in consultation with your council. And if in doubt, talk to an arborist about your best options.
Create an emergency kit and household flood plan. (Tip: keep a torch and any personal medication in a waterproof container or ziplock bag).
Ensure you have an up-to-date Home Building and Contents Insurance policy, which covers flood and/or other types of water damage in certain events.
Check whether you are adequately covered for ‘removal of debris,’ i.e. clean-up costs.
Use an online insurance calculator as a guide to help figure out how much to insure your home and contents for.
Store your chemicals, poisons and any other hazardous items away – as high as you can – if flooding is likely to occur.
Tune in to your local emergency broadcaster – if and when it’s safe to do so.
Stay inside and keep your doors, windows and curtains closed.
Switch off non-essential electronics. And if you need to evacuate due to a cyclone or flood, turn off the gas, water and electricity before you leave.
Above all, if caught in a storm, keep yourself, your family and pets safe.
Check your windows, walls and roof for damage.
Ensure your smoke detectors are still operational.
Remove as much excess water as possible from your floors, carpets and rugs
Dispose of any food that’s been contaminated by flood water.
If returning home post-flood, keep your power, gas and electrical appliances off until they’ve been professionally cleared for use.
For major damage or emergency assistance, call your local SES team.
Chat to your insurer and/or make a claim – online or over the phone.
For tips on how to prepare your car during storm season, click here.
Learn where Australia’s high-risk flood areas are and/or how to develop an emergency flood plan here.
Information supplied by IAG, Australia’s largest general insurer.
This page provides general advice only. For up-to-date and specific advice relating to the risks in your area please speak to your local council or emergency services.