Qlders warned after horror start to severe weather season

A ferocious start to storm season should be taken as a wake-up call to all Queenslanders, with RACQ warning more wet and wild weather was expected over the coming months.

RACQ spokesperson Lucinda Ross said more than 5,600 members had made claims for damage caused by giant hailstones, torrential rain and strong wind gusts from the 31 October storm which destroyed thousands of homes in south east Queensland.

“The damage across Springfield, Ipswich and Logan was truly devastating,” Ms Ross said.

“We’ve seen members now have unliveable homes or had their vehicle written off – for many, it will take months to recover from this disaster.

“Unfortunately, many Queenslanders weren’t prepared for this ferocious storm and the worst of what this storm season will bring.”

Ms Ross said while preparation could only go so far when Queenslanders were faced with giant hailstones, an emergency kit was essential.

“Those first few days after a big event can often be harder than the actual storm,” she said.

“Think about what you would do if you didn’t have power for several days – what would you eat, how would you charge your devices and where would you go to be safe.

“Make sure you have a battery pack, medications, spare clothes and some canned food to get through those first few tricky days.”

Ms Ross said it was also important Queenslanders were aware of the tactics of disaster chasers, who preyed on vulnerable home and vehicle owners after a storm and encouraged unnecessary insurance claims.

“In the first few days after the Halloween superstorm, we saw disaster chasers targeting our members,” she said.

“In some cases, they were even pretending to be from RACQ and towing members’ cars without approval or authorisation.

“We will never show up at a members house without arranging a suitable time with them first, and will carry identification so you can make sure it’s really us.

“The best way to get an insurance claim resolved quickly and correctly, is by lodging it directly with your insurer – never go through a third party who has knocked on your door. Disaster chasers may claim they can get your issue resolved quicker, but they are just seeking to take control of your policy and could leave you with a nasty bill and dodgy or incomplete repairs.”

Members are encouraged to visit the RACQ Safe Hub to get ready for storm season, and to claim online if they need to.