Storms are coming: Tips for preparing your home
THE weather in this region is great. But sometimes it's a killer.
Extreme thunderstorms, monsoonal rain, huge cyclones, flash floods, king tides and swollen rivers have swept away lives and property.
Residents need to prepare for the worst - and the best thing that can happen is that your preparation is wasted in an uneventful summer.
Here are our tips for keeping a roof over your head this storm season:
General home maintenance:
- Keep the roof in good condition and check it regularly.
- Keep gutters and downpipes clear so water can drain quickly.
- Trim trees and overhanging branches close to the house (beware powerlines).
- Check and fix corrosion, rotten timber, termite infestations and loose fittings.
Before storm season:
- Ensure home, contents and car insurance are current and adequate. Check your policy includes debris clean-up and removal.
- Identify your strongest room to shelter in during a severe storm or cyclone.
- Identify where and how to turn off main supply for water, power and gas.
- Have items such as water storage containers, spare fuel for your vehicle (store it safely), camp stove and fuel for cooking without power.
If you live in a flood-prone area:
- Store all poisons and garden chemicals well above ground level.
- Identify indoor items you will need to raise or empty if flood threatens.
- Consider alternatives to carpet and relocate power points to well above previous flood levels (using a licensed contractor).
- Prepare your own sandbags to protect your home.
If you live in an area prone to cyclones or severe storms:
- Arrange for a professional builder to check your building and identify ways you can increase the structural security of your home to withstand high winds.
- Fit windows with shutters or metal screens for added protection during high winds.
When warnings are issued for a cyclone or severe storm:
- Disconnect electrical appliances and external television / radio aerials and turn off electricity and gas main supplies if instructed to do so.
- Secure outdoor furniture and garden items.
- Fill buckets and bath with clean water in case of interruptions to water supply.
- Close windows with shutters or tape windows with strong tape. Draw curtains.
When warnings are issued for flood:
- Disconnect all your electrical appliances.
- Move outdoor equipment, garbage, chemicals and household poisons to a higher location.
- Empty and raise freezers / refrigerators and stack or move your furniture, valuables and electrical items offsite.
- Sandbag internal drains and toilets to prevent sewage backflow.
- Move livestock, plant and feed to higher ground.