17 Dec Storms & Bushfires: What can you expect & how can you prepare?
Storms & Bushfires: What can you expect & how can you prepare?
What can you expect from the upcoming storm season?
Severe weather warnings from the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) predicts a severe weather season and has projected Australia will have more heatwaves and bushfires during spring and summer but fewer cyclones to come across the coast. The outlook comes with a warning to not be complacent about the risks during the most hectic meteorological months of the year as dangerous storms were the most common natural hazard in Australia. Storms cause more damage and destruction than cyclones, floods and bushfires.
The outlook comes after what insurers have called the most intense storm season in 2018. NRMA Insurance data shows last summer was the most intense storm season in four years, with 61 per cent of all home insurance claims during 2018-19 triggered by storm damage. December was the worst month, with 86 per cent of claims resulting from storms.
Are you prepared for the upcoming storm season?
Storm season in Australia runs from 1 November 2019 to 3 April 2020.
Every year, Australians brace themselves for severe and damaging weather over the summer period. Preparation is easy with some really handy and really simple checklists for all property owners. Below we have three things to make you super ready for storm season:-
- Your 30 second survey to check your weather preparedness;
- Your storm preparation list for around your apartment, townhouse or house;
- Storm Emergency Kit List
Storm Checklist: How prepared are you?
- Are your gutters, downpipes and storm water drains clear of leaves and other matter? Yes/No
- Do you have an emergency kit in your home, containing items such as a first aid kit, canned food and torch, which you can access at a moment’s notice? Yes/No
- Do you have emergency contact numbers, such as SES, an electrician and insurance companies, at hand? Yes/No
- Do you know the strongest place in your house to take shelter during a severe storm? Yes/No
- Tip – This is usually the smallest room in the house with the fewest windows even better if it is centrally located in the house.
- Have you checked out your household’s flood risk using Council’s online Flood Awareness Map? Yes/No
- Have you checked that your insurance covers flood and storm damage? Yes/No
- Have you signed up for severe weather alerts? Yes/No
- Have you spoken to your family about how to evacuate your home in an emergency? Yes/No
Important Tip – Evacuation Plans – Every strata building in Australia should have an evacuation plan (the only exception are some low rise townhouse complexes). Ask for a copy, talk to everyone in your home about it and keep a copy handy.
- Have you tidied your yard in preparation for storms, for example, by securing loose objects and trimming tree branches? Yes/No
How many TICKS did you have? In this case a perfect 9 is the goal.
Your storm preparation list
Familiarize your household with the following tips and information for when a storm strikes:
- Check and clean your roof, gutters and downpipes;
- Identify loose objects on your balcony or in your yard such as outdoor furniture and toys that will have to be put away or secured if a storm approaches. These can turn into missiles in a storm;
- Have a supply of plastic shopping bags to use as sand bags for emergency storm water diversion;
- Have masking tape and plastic sheeting or large garbage bags available for emergency rain protection;
- Review your emergency evacuation plan – remind all household members of evacuation meeting point. Identify at least two routes to evacuate;
- Back up any important computer files;
- Secure the premises – Is everything locked up?
- If your property has large trees that are not protected under any council Vegetation Protection Orders arrange for an arborist to carry out a check-up and remove any branches that overhang the building and/or are showing signs of decay or termite damage; and
- If it’s a big one make sure you have plenty of gas in your BBQ or camping cooker, canned food, bottled water and other non-perishable food
Your storm emergency kit list – Everyone should check these off:
- a portable battery operated radio and torch with fresh or spare batteries and bulb;
- a list of local radio stations for emergency information;
- candles with waterproof matches or a gas lantern;
- reasonable stocks of fresh water and tinned or dried food;
- a first aid kit and basic first aid booklet/knowledge;
- good supplies of essential medication;
- strong shoes and rubber gloves;
- a waterproof bag for clothing and valuables – put valuables and certificates in the bag and put the bag in a safe place.
- a list of your emergency contact numbers;
- a car charger for your mobile phone;
- Portable battery pack for your phone;