Preparing your home for storm season - October 2018

Prepare your home

The best time to prepare your home is now. Taking steps now to secure and protect your property can improve the safety of your home during a bushfire, storm, flood or cyclone.

Understanding your risk is key to any preparation task. Once you have identified potential risks, preparing for them becomes easier. Here are a range of suggested tasks to assist you in preparing your home and property to minimise potential damage.

General home maintenance

  • Keep your roof in good condition and check it regularly
  • Keep gutters and downpipes clear so water can drain away quickly
  • Trim trees and overhanging branches (be aware of any overhead powerlines)
  • Check and fix any corrosion, rotten timber, termite infestations and loose fittings

General home preparations

  • Ensure your home, contents and car insurance is current and adequate. Check your policy includes debris clean up and removal
  • Identify your strongest room to shelter in during severe storm or cyclone
  • Identify where and how to turn off the main supply for water, power and gas
  • Have items on hand, such as water storage containers, spare fuel for your vehicle (ensure you store it safely), camp stove and fuel for cooking without power

If you live in a flood-prone area

  • Understand your risk
  • Store all poisons and garden chemicals well above ground level and out of reach of children
  • Identify indoor items you will need to raise or empty if flood threatens
  • Consider alternatives to carpet and relocate power-points to well above previous flood levels (using a licensed contractor)

If you live in a cyclone / severe storm-prone area

  • Understand your risk
  • Arrange for a professional builder to check your building and identify ways you can increase the structural security of your home to withstand high winds
  • Fit windows with shutters or metal screens for added protection during high winds

If you live in a fire-prone area

  • Understand your risk
  • Download and prepare your Bushfire survival plan
  • Ensure access to your property is easy for fire and emergency vehicles
  • Remove materials that can help fuel a fire (e.g. long dry grass, dead leaves, branches)
  • Keep roof and gutters clean of dead leaves
  • Check that pumps, generators and water systems are working correctly

Final home preparations

When warnings are issued for cyclone or severe storm:

  • Disconnect electrical appliances and external television / radio aerials and turn off electricity and gas main supplies if instructed to do so
  • Secure outdoor furniture and garden items
  • Fill buckets and bath with clean water in case of interruptions to water supply
  • Close windows with shutters or tape windows with strong tape and draw curtains

When warnings are issued for flood:

  • Disconnect electrical appliances
  • Move outdoor equipment, garbage, chemicals and poisons to a higher location
  • Empty and raise freezers / refrigerators and stack or move furniture, valuables and electrical items off-site
  • Sandbag internal drains and toilets to prevent sewage backflow
  • Move livestock, plant and feed to higher ground.


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