Preparing for Storm Season
As I write this post, parts of QLD and NSW are already in the grips of strong storms and early La Nina weather events. The Bureau is predicting cyclone conditions and are warning residents in affected areas to brace for unpredictable winds. We’re only two weeks into Summer.
It’s no secret that Australia is a land of intense weather events, but the increasing severity of storms are becoming unprecedented. So what can you do to make sure you’re prepared for severe storms at your home or business?
Start early & plan ahead
- Take a look around your property - what can you see that might be dangerous in strong winds? Get up on the roof (safely) and check for any loose tiles or sheeting, and get it secured and fixed now. It’s also time to do that long-overdue tip run and get rid of the old kids toys, unused garden furniture or left-over building materials and waste you’ve been stockpiling beside the shed.
- Clear your yard of tree branches and fronds, put your tools in the shed, clean out your gutters and trim low branches and shrubs to lessen the amount of garden debris that could be picked up in high winds.
- Don’t forget to secure larger loose objects in the yard that could be picked up in the wind, like your outdoor furniture and kids entertainment equipment. It might look heavy, but it’s not worth the risk if it gets airborne!
- Create an emergency kit. Grab a plastic storage container from your local two-dollar shop and pop a first-aid kit, copies of your important papers (like your insurance policies!), battery operated torches and radio, spare phone chargers or power banks for charging multiple devices. Don’t forget spare batteries and extra baby supplies if you’ve got a baby in the house!
- Review your insurances. Don’t forget to check your policies and make sure you’re appropriately covered heading into storm season. Check your sums insured are enough to replace and rebuild and remember insurance is there to put you back in the position you were in prior to the damage occurring, so make sure you’re not short-changing yourself with inadequate sums insured.
When the storms hit
- Always, always, always, listen to the emergency services in your area and stay tuned into your local ABC emergency broadcast on the radio. Check the ABC website for your region’s station. Keep the SES contact number on hand, and bunker down where safe.
- Move your vehicles under cover if possible, or place heavy blankets or cardboard over windows and glass to protect against hail.
- If flooding is expected, have some sandbags ready to go. You can usually get these from your local SES or emergency services depot.
- If you’re on the road when the storm hits, pull over when safe to do so and try to avoid parking under or near trees or power lines.
After the storm
When it is safe to do so, assess any damage and take photos to provide your insurer. Do not attempt to fix or touch electrical wiring or power lines that have come down on your property. If the structure is damaged, best leave it to the experts and call the SES to attend your property and assess.
Get in touch with your broker or insurance company as soon as you’re able, however be aware there may be delays as there will likely be lots of people in the same boat. The insurance companies will put on extra staff and mobilise emergency response teams, so rest-assured they should be able to help you quickly.
Now is the time to review your insurances - if you’d like to talk to a broker who can help you navigate what you need for your home and contents or business insurances, and find the right cover for you, give me a call.
This article originally appeared on MeyerInsure - Blog and has been published here with permission.