With Summer upon us, storm season is in the midst running from October to March each year.
Dean Narramore, forecaster at the Bureau of Meteorology told the Courier Mail, “Late October, November and early December are when we see our strongest storms – particularly mid-November is the peak of storm season.”
“There will be severe storms throughout November and I’m sure a lot of people will be affected at some stage – prepare and get ready, there’s a few more to come.” said Dean.
Each storm season sees storms and flooding cause substantial damage to our communities. NRMA Insurance has conducted research on their data showing that even though in the last year, just under 50% of all home insurance claims were related to storm damage, three quarters of households have not taken active steps to prepare their families or homes.
NRMA Insurance and the State Emergency Service (SES) have teamed together to provide a list of simple precautions you can follow to avoid having to make these claims, and – most importantly – to keep yourself and your family safe.
1. Secure loose items in your yard before a storm
By securing items it will stop them from being blown away and causing damage. Even large objects like trampolines can be easily lifted so it is imperative to secure everything. Also, before going away on holiday, make sure everything is secured before you leave in case a storms hits while you’re away.
2. Clean gutters regularly
When gutters are blocked with leaves and sticks, rain water can overflow under the eaves and into your roof cavity, this can cause various issues. It’s important that the rain can drain easily to avoid it from pooling and running into your home. Therefore, you should make sure all drains aren’t obstructed.
3. Check for trees and branches that could potentially fall
Vicious winds can easily uproot trees and rip off branches. If you notice a potentially hazardous tree on your property you can firstly – request the local council’s guidelines and consent forms. Secondly, every 2 to 3 years have an arborist take a look at the trees to trim or remove them.
4. Fix any roof damage
Check your roof for any damage annually. Then you can replace any broken tiles or sheeting. It is also worthwhile checking the inside of your roof. Sometimes the waterproof insulation membrane can be damaged. Ideally, you should have your roof inspected by a qualified tradesman every 5 years to ensure safety.
4. Confirm you have sufficient insurance
Assure that your insurance covers the risks that your neighborhood is most vulnerable to and that it matches the value of your home and contents. Councils and private companies responsible for maintaining safety at public places should actively be careful during these times. Public liability Claims can be made if there is any injury you suffer as a result of the wrong doing of any major company, careless behavior of councils or government who is responsible to maintain the safety and maintenance of the public or common areas.
5. Prepare an emergency plan
Storms and other disasters can occur unexpected at any time of the day, so it’s very helpful to have a plan for your family in case of an emergency. Family members may be at school, work, or commuting so it is important you all know how to contact one another, and where to meet.
6. Make an Emergency Kit
In a waterproof container you should put together a kit that contains the items your household will need if the power goes out or if you had to leave your home urgently.
7. Listen to local radio
Your local radio station is your go to for storm updates. They will provide information on road closures, flash flooding and evacuation centres.
8. Make good decisions around flood water
Floodwater can be unpredictably dangerous. It is hard to tell how deep and how strong the current is. Stay away from the water and do not walk, ride or drive through it. Not only could you lose your license but you are also putting your own life as well as your rescuers life at risk.
See National News for more local news.