How to Prepare for a Storm
Last Updated Jun 22, 2012 · Written by Jaclyn Fitzgerald
Storms are a fact of life in our Australian climate and while they are often quite mild, passing quickly, sometimes they can be incredibly severe and devastating. To ensure that you are never caught out by a storm, you should have a storm plan prepared for your home. What should your storm plan include? Here’s everything you need to know!
Secure Your Home
If you’ve heard reports of a storm being expected in your area, the first thing that you should do is to secure your home as much as possible. This means making sure that all outdoor furniture is put away, that branches, bits of wood and other debris are secured, and that your windows are strong and safe. Check your trees and large plants to make sure that there are no obvious branches that will come off (if you’re suspicious, ask a tree lopper to check it out for you). Park your car under cover and bring children and pets indoors.
Check the Roof
The roof is one of the most vulnerable things in a storm so you need to keep yours well maintained. Firstly, make absolutely sure that gutters and drainpipes are clear as this is essential to drain the torrents of stormwater away before they can flood your home. Next, check for loose tiles or sheets. If there are any, or any other physical damage to the roof, repair these as soon as you can. Roofs in poor condition are much more likely to succumb to the ravages of a storm.
Create a Home Emergency Plan
If storms are expected, make sure that you have an up to date home emergency plan. This plan dictates how you and your family will react in a storm event. Make sure you know the safe exit points in your home and that you have an agreed upon evacuation point. It is a good idea to have emergency evacuation bags packed with food, water and clothes. Make sure that you have an agreed meeting point and a way to stay in contact should you become separated from each other.
Emergency Kits are a Must
The worst part about a storm is the almost inevitable blackout. You can mitigate the effects of a blackout by preparing an emergency kit. Include items such as canned food, a can opener, bottled water, candles, matches, torches, medications, first aid supplies, a battery operated radio, fresh batteries, and a copy of your important documents. While most storms will only create blackouts lasting for a few hours at most, you’ll want to stock your kit with enough food and water for three days, just in case.