As the storm season approaches, it is critical for property owners to be vigilant when it comes to keeping their property safe from damage, and its residents safe from harm in the event of a severe storm.
Below are some tips that should assist you to prepare for the onset of a storm, and to minimise damage:
Protect your windows and doors – a common issue during storms is damage to glass windows and doors, allowing strong winds to enter the home and stir wind tunnels which can cause walls and roofs to fail. Strengthen your windows and doors by using shutters, awnings or insect resistant screens. When installing garage doors, ensure that you choose those that are adequately wind and debris rated.
Clear outdoor areas – remove any items, such as outdoor furniture inside or into a shed, as loose items can be blown around and accelerate destruction. Pruning trees, clearing gutters, and removing dead branches is also necessary in preparation for storm season.
Keep basic supplies on hand – keep at least a three-day supply of items such as candles, batteries, potable water, non-perishable foods; as you may be without water and power for several days, and access to nearby amenities may be blocked.
Keep informed – keep a battery-operated radio on for updates; even if your mobile has charge left, the internet may be outed in affected areas.
Stay inside – stay inside until absolutely safe to venture out, even when the storm is over there may be hazards on or near your property, such as fallen power lines/trees. Bring your pets inside also. In the event of a fallen power line contact 131 962.
Emergency Plan – have an emergency plan drawn up that all family/household members are familiar with, as storms can sometimes hit with very little warning, or hit with a ferociousness not predicted. Have the SES number on the fridge (or somewhere easily located), in Queensland it is 132 500.
Check your Insurance Policy – if you are unaware of what your home and contents policy covers in relation to severe weather events; now is the time to find out, not in the aftermath…it would be devastating to find out that for a few dollars more you could have had extra protection.
Be aware, be prepared, stay safe.