10 important steps to get prepared for storm seasonIn recent weather we have had a glimpse of what our storm season will look like over the next few months. Storms are unpredictable and sudden, so it is important to be prepared for whatever they may throw at you! Keep reading to make sure you have everything ready for this storm season.
Step 1: Prepare your homeIn order to limit the damage to your home in the worst instance. Simple things you can do include:
- Check your roof regularly
- Keep your gutters clear
- Remove trees and branches near your home
- Secure loose items (e.g. outside storage, outdoor furniture, gardening equipment etc..)
Step 2: Ensure your home, contents, business and car insurance is up to date and currentMake sure you are aware of what your policy covers you for. Another important thing to do is take photos of every room in your house, to make it easier in the event you needed to claim. It is also important you document any smaller valuable items with photography.
Step 3: Create your home emergency kitYour emergency kit should be able to get you through more than three days of isolation. Consider including the following items:
- Contact numbers
- Battery radio
- Spare batteries
- Blanket or warm clothes
- First aid kit
- Cash and important documents
- Drinking water (additional water if you have pets) and non-perishable food
Step 4: Make sure members of our household knows the following
- Which room in the house is the safest to seek shelter.
- How to turn the power, water and gas off.
- Where the meeting point is in the event of an evacuation
- How to stay in contact if you are separated
- Where the exit points are
Step 5: Make plans for your pets in the event of an emergencyThey are our best friends, so we don’t want to forget about them in the event of an emergency. Make sure you have somewhere for them to go if your home is damaged.
Step 6: Prepare your carDuring storm season it is important to make sure you have a spare supply of fuel, masking tape to protect your car windows and have blankets to protect your car from hail.
Step 7: Prepare your businessThere are quite a few things you need to have prepared during storm season. These include:
- Employees contact details
- Emergency service contacts
- Customer and supply details
- Product lists
- Latest stock and equipment inventory
- A separate emergency kit for your business
- Make sure you have all data backed up on hard drives or online storage programs
- Prepare an emergency evacuation plan and make sure all staff are aware.
Step 8: Talk to your neighboursAs a community it is important we look after those who may need assistance. During storm season it is very important to make sure all elderly, children, disabled and ill are cared for in the case of a serious storm. This includes they have safe shelter, supplies and medication. Make sure you contact your neighbours to share your plans and ask if they need assistance preparing or in the event of a serious storm.
Step 9: Tune in to weather warningsPart of being prepared is knowing when the storm is on its way. There are many services which offer storm warning. These include:
- Your Radio
- Free-to-air television
- Bureau of Meteorology website - http://www.bom.gov.au/
- The Queensland Disaster Management Services - http://www.disaster.qld.gov.au/
- Queensland Tropical Cyclone Warnings 1300 659 212
- Queensland Land Weather and Flood Warnings 1300 659 219
- Queensland Coastal Marine Warnings 1300 360 427
- Queensland General Warnings 1900 969 922 (call costs apply)
- Australian Tsunami Threat Information (1300 TSUNAMI) – 1300 878 6264
Step 10: Remember to be safeThe most important thing to remember is to me safe during storm season. Never try to drive or walk through flooded waters, seek shelter and avoid driving.
Written by Shine Lawyers. Last modified: November 16, 2016.