Dramatic and unpredictable, severe storms may cause you a pile of repair bills if they strike without warning!
Wild weather is par for the course during storm season in Brisbane. This typically runs from late October to February / March but can often arrive much earlier. Dramatic and unpredictable, severe storms may cause you a pile of repair bills if they strike without warning. To be on the safe side, it’s a good idea to prepare your home for the worst case scenario.
Have current and adequate insurance
Check that your home and contents insurance is up-to-date and you’re fully covered for damage relating to severe weather in Queensland. Your policy should also be based on your current valuation. Recent studies have shown that around 1 in 10 Australians are living in homes that are underinsured as their policy is based on an old property valuation. Many also don’t have contents insurance. If you’re living in a high to medium risk area for flooding (check the Brisbane City Council flood maps), then make sure that your standard insurance policy covers water damage from flooding.
Weather proof your home
An extreme weather event may include flooding, hail and high winds, or all three, but you can stave off potential damage to your home by the following preparations:
Fit storm windows / window films
Hail storms in Brisbane can be vicious, causing hail the size of golf balls and leaving windows in tatters. Storm windows offer protection by being mounted to the inside or outside of existing windows. Made of durable glass or plastic panels, they shatter less easily and offer more protection than standard glass windows. High tensile window films are also designed to contain glass shards and have a high-impact energy absorption.
Clear gutters and vegetation
Check that your roof is watertight to protect the interior of your property from leaks. Fix any loose tiles or iron sheeting, and clean out gutters of leaf matter so water can flow easily through downpipes. Cut back and trim vegetation from fences so they don’t collapse in strong winds. Overhanging branches are a hazard in storms and need to be topped or pruned back to avoid damaging your property and neighbouring powerlines.
Tidy away / secure outdoor items
Outdoor items such as furniture, pool accessories, childrens’ toys and pot plants can turn into flying missiles during storms that can inflict all kinds of damage to properties and people. Secure items tightly or store them inside the house if at all possible.
Safety Plan and Emergency Kit
The Brisbane City Council recommends having a safety plan in place and an emergency kit that enables your household to survive for three days without power and water. This should be readily accessible and contain items such as first aid supplies, a battery operated torch and radio, canned food and water. Visit the Brisbane City Council for more information on what items you need for your kit and how to be prepared for storm season.
If the storm turns into a cyclone, you may need to evacuate, no matter how well prepared your home is. Keep updated with broadcasts from local radio stations and follow instructions carefully. Sign up for the council’s Severe Weather Early Warning Alert Service www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/earlywarning so you know in advance that a severe storm is approaching.