October marks the start of storm season and the start of the heavy rain, lightening, gusts of wind and even hail. It’s part of Australian life to experience a few big storms during the year but how can you stay safe and prepare for the unpredictable times ahead?
Storms are a hazard that can cause major damage to property as well as serious injuries. They’re the most common type of disaster in Australia and cause more harm than cyclones, earthquakes, floods and bushfires. There are two main types of severe storms that cause major destruction in the month of October every year: thunderstorms and land gales.
Thunderstorms usually produce hail, wind gusts, flash floods and lightening. These types of storms often cause injuries, large damages to property and in some instances, death. Thunderstorms are more common and generally much more dangerous.
Abigail Koch, spokesperson for comparethemarket.com.au says, “No matter the type of storm, Australians have to begin preparing their plan of action before a storm hits their hometown and creates irrevocable damage to their property and to the ones they love.”
Three step plan on storm preparation
Preparing a three step plan during storm season is essential in keeping your family and property safe. Map out what to do before, during, and after a storm.
Check that loose objects such as outdoor equipment, umbrellas and trampolines are secured properly before a storm hits. Also check that your gutters, pipes and drains aren’t blocked. You should also park your car in an undercover area and away from any trees; this is probably the best way to avoid damage to your vehicle.
When the storm hits, a secondary plan of action must be implemented immediately. This includes staying indoors and away from the windows at all times and making sure to never drive or walk through floodwater.
If you find yourself outdoors during a storm, try to stay away from any drains, gutters and waterways. Floodwater is very dangerous and toxic so avoid playing or swimming in it.
After the storm has hit, it’s imperative to check for any damage on your property. Watch out for any damages to other buildings, powerlines and broken trees, you have to remain extra cautious not to get hurt when assessing the destruction.
Finally, it’s important to remain focused on any road hazards you may come across such as remaining floodwater, debris or damaged roads.
10 extra precautions you can take during storm season
You may have a solid three step plan in place for all of your storm safety measures but having a checklist on hand to make sure everything has been taken care of is also important. Comparethemarket.com.au has created a 10 point handy checklist for Australians to use during a thunderstorm:
- Have an emergency plan and kit in the house and make sure these are both up-to-date. Educate your family of everything that is in the emergency kit and what they should do if an incident should arise. Keep these in a location that everyone is aware of inside the house.
- Listen to daily weather reports and be aware of the types of storm patterns that have been occurring in your area.
- If a storm is predicted to hit your suburb, then it’s time to make some adjustments to your living space. Trim the trees nearby or near your house, clear the downpipes and gutters and make sure your yard is completely clear of any rubbish or loose equipment. Start to secure any garden furniture, large toys and even garden sheds.
- Start checking your property such as your roof. Make sure it’s in good condition and begin to secure any lose tiles and fill any holes you might come across.
- Glass windows, doors and sky lights are major hazards during a storm so begin to protect these with shutters or even insect screens.
- Make sure your home and contents insurance is up-to-date and will sufficiently cover you for any damages that may occur to your property.
- Store all valuables, medications, spare food and clothing into plastic bags for emergency use. Your most important possessions should be kept in a safe area.
- Remember to disconnect all electrical devices such as the TV, radio, computer modems and kitchen appliances.
- In the event that your house begins to break or collapse, shelter in the strongest room (this could be your hallway, built-in wardrobe, basement etc.
- For any storm related emergencies, you can contact the SES or for life-threatening emergencies, call triple zero.
For further information, or for an interview, please contact:
Hannah Twiggs, PR Assistant, comparethemarket.com.au
Tel: 07 3377 8879
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