Queensland braces for wild weather
Every year between November and April Queenslanders are urged to safeguard their homes for another unpredictable storm season. Are you ready?
Storms can strike at any time, which is why it’s important to be prepared to avoid serious injury or damage to your property.
During the 2018-2019 season, RACQ received 8272 storm-related claims on home and contents insurance and motor vehicle insurance, totalling $175 million.
RACQ also received 13 bushfire claims in central Queensland in November 2018 worth more than $400,000.
With months of potential wild weather just around the corner, RACQ spokesperson Lucinda Ross said it’s time to get ready.
“Storm season is on our doorstep, so we’re urging Queenslanders to prepare themselves and their families now in case the worst hits us,” Ms Ross said.
Here are some storm safety tips to protect your loved ones and your home.
Have a plan
Every member of your household should be involved in the development of a home emergency plan. Your home emergency plan should include:
- The exit points in your house
- Where to go if you need to evacuate your house
- Requirements for those with medical conditions or special needs
- What to do with your pets
- How to stay in contact if you are separated.
Create an Emergency Kit
Sometimes storms can cause blackouts and shut down the power supply to your home which is why having an Emergency Kit can be a lifesaver. Your Emergency Kit should be able to sustain your family for three days and include:
- Emergency contact numbers
- Torch with spare batteries
- First aid kit
- Battery-operated radio
- Essential medications
- Special items for babies, the disabled, elderly or pets
- Drinking water, can opener and non-perishable food.
Prepare your home
Now is the time to storm proof your home. Here are some ways you can protect your property against heavy rain, hail, lightning or thunder.
- Check home and contents insurance is up to date.
- Clear gutters and downpipes, and trim overgrown branches away from powerlines.
- Check the roof for damaged or loose tiles and sheeting.
- Remove or secure loose items from the yard that could become projectiles.
Protect your car
During dangerous storms, large hail can cause irreparable damage to cars. If a hailstorm is predicted, park your vehicle under cover or cover the windscreen, bonnet and roof with a think blanket for protection. If you are driving make sure you stop somewhere safe to shelter yourself from the storm, away from power lines and trees. Check your car insurance is up to date and adequate.
Tune in to weather updates
Listen to your local radio station and watch TV for warnings and fire updates. This information can help you work out if the weather event has passed or if you need to evacuate. Check the Queensland Government disaster and alerts website for updates.