This year has provided plenty of challenges making it difficult for us to stick to our regular routines. Nevertheless, preparing for summer storm season is an important part of Queensland life which cannot be overlooked.
With the Bureau of Meteorology predicting La Nina weather to impact the remainder of 2020 and beyond, the likelihood of increased rain, storms and even cyclone activity are well on the cards. With this in mind, there are a number of important steps property owners, including those with holiday and rental properties, can take to safeguard their homes against the worst of what Mother Nature can offer.
Keeping on top of general maintenance is the first step. Things to consider include checking the condition of the roof and repairing any loose screws, tiles and eaves. Ensuring gutters and downpipes are free from leaves and other debris will assist water draining away as quickly as possible. You should also trim any overhanging branches near your home and secure any loose items on the outdoor patio/deck and in the yard that may cause damage if blown around in strong winds. The approaching storm season is also a good time to check your insurance cover to make sure home, contents and vehicle insurance are adequate and up to date.
If things get serious it is a good idea to have a pre-determined room in which to take shelter. The smallest room in the house with the least amount of windows is usually the strongest, and the best option in this situation. Familiarise yourself with how to turn off the main supply for water, power and gas. Close windows with shutters, or use strong tape in a crossed pattern and draw curtains.
It is also a good idea to keep your animals indoors in a safe, secure and comfortable environment, and to ensure your pets are wearing ID tags and their microchip details are up to date.
If you cannot access undercover shelter for your vehicles, it is best to secure them with firmly tied down blankets to minimise hail damage.
Make sure you tune in and listen to your local radio station for updates, warnings and safety messages. This is just a small sample of the precautions you can take to protect your home and loved ones during storm season.
For more information, this Queensland Government website is an excellent resource to familiarise yourself with: https://www.qld.gov.au/emergency/dealing-disasters/disaster-types/cyclone-severe-storm