How to: prepare your home for a storm
Australians are no strangers to unpredictable weather and it’s important we prepare our homes for storm season each year.
Your home is one of the most important financial investments you’ll ever make and ensuring its safety during the summer storm and cyclone season via a regular home maintenance program is paramount.
Here’s some handy tips to help you prepare for a storm. These can be done at any time and you should make sure you do them before a storm is forecast, wherever possible.
- Check your insurance provisions are up to date
- Remove and stow any potential hazards around your front or back yards
- Trim back tree branches around your home
- Check roofs and gutters for debri or broken materials. Clean them out and repair broken tiles or other loose objects.
- Check for trees near power lines. If you spot them, organise a contractor to help clear them away and reduce the risk.
- Maintain a list of emergency phone numbers and contact details
- Prepare an emergency kit including first aid provisions, a torch, radio and spare batteries.
- Organise any necessary repairs to your home structure, including roofs and gutters – make sure you engage a licensed contractor for this work.
- Ensure you know how to turn off your gas, electricity and water supply.
If you live in a storm or flood prone area there are additional precautions you should take.
- Store any hazardous materials above ground level
- Prepare to raise any objects that will need to lifted out of the way of flash flooding
- Consider fitting your windows with shutters or metal screens for protection against strong winds
When a storm is on the way:
- Ensure any loose items outside the home are secured, including outdoor furniture and wheelie bins
- Double check your emergency kit and go over your plan for relocation if necessary
- Get your pets and animals to a safe place.
- Stow vehicles under cover and secure (i.e. using tarpaulins or blankets)
- Disconnect electrical appliances
- Turn off electricity and gas main supplies if instructed
- Close windows and tape using a criss-crossing pattern
- Ensure you listen for updates and warnings from the relevant authorities
Please note this isn’t exhaustive list of safety concerns that you need to be consider. Always consult with the experts. Here’s a list of state by state emergency resources:
You might want to sign up for early alerts with the Australian Early Warning Network