Be safe during storm season

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Get ready now for a summer of extreme weather.
Storm in Brisbane.
Queenslanders are being urged to take steps now in preparation for what is expected to be a summer of extreme weather.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has issued a La Nina "alert", which means there is about a 70% chance of the extreme weather system developing in the coming months.

The BoM says all surveyed international climate models predict La Nina thresholds will be reached in October and persist until at least the end of 2020.

A La Nina event is typically associated with above-average rainfall across northern Australia and an increase in cyclonic activity over the summer months.

Queenslanders should prepare now to make sure they are in the best position to deal with the impacts of any extreme weather events.

Here are five easy ways to protect yourself and your belongings:

Protect your home

It’s important to check the condition of your household before storms hit. Check the roof and make sure there are no cracks in the tiles, clean out your gutters and clear out excess plants and debris from your gardens. If you do notice damage, RACQ Home Rescue can assist with trusted tradies. If a storm is threatening, unplug electrical appliances around the house. Bring any outdoor furniture inside so that it doesn’t get damaged or blown away in heavy winds. Ensure your home and contents insurance policy is up-to-date, so that it includes all new items in the household, for example a new engagement ring, TV or lounge.

Cover your car

Make sure your car is parked undercover so that it isn’t damaged from hail or falling branches from trees. Remember, never park under trees during a storm. If you don’t have access to undercover parking, you can cover the vehicle with a thick blanket to protect the windscreen, bonnet and roof. Make sure your car insurance is up-to-date.

Have a plan and emergency kit

Sit down with your family and talk about where you will go and what you will do when a storm hits. When you look at your emergency kit, put it somewhere where you'll remember where it is and have easy access to it. In that emergency kit, include things like a torch and spare batteries, a battery-powered radio, enough food and water to last you a few days, have some spare clothes and any essentials that you use on a daily basis like prescription medication. Also, think about kids and pets and anything they might need, including formula, nappies or dog food.

Think safe

If it’s flooded, forget it. Never drive through flood waters. Be aware of any fallen power lines, damaged trees or other obstacles which could fall on you or cause injury. When driving in the rain, make sure you leave a bigger distance between you and the car in front and put your lights on. Slow down and drive to the conditions.

Calm your pets

Loud winds, thunderstorms and lightning can startle the furry members of the family. To prevent them from being stressed or running away, try to keep them safe and calm indoors (a crate or laundry is suggested). Give them access to plenty of water and close the blinds or curtains so they don’t react to flashes of lightning.

Helpful links

  • Home Assist – get 24-hour assistance, for things such as burst pipes or a leaking roof, with your Household Insurance policy.^
  • Bureau of Meteorology – get up-to-date weather warnings and forecasts for your area.
  • Energex (South East Queensland) – find information on current outages. Call 13 19 62 to report fallen powerlines or electric shocks and 13 62 62 to report power interruptions.
  • Ergon Energy (Regional Queensland) - find information on current outages. Call 13 16 70 to report fallen powerlines or electric shocks and 13 22 96 to report power interruptions.
  • State Emergency Service (SES) – provides search and rescue operations and disaster response services to the Queensland community. Call 132 500 for assistance following severe storms or flooding.

^Conditions, limitations, and exclusions apply. Service provided by RACQ’s contracted service provider Aizer Trade Services Pty Ltd, QBCC licence 15137712, electrical contractor licence 86177. Available in selected areas only. A 72 hour wait period applies to all new RACQ Home Rescue policies. Where applicable, follow-up work requires a separate contract with Aizer Trade Services Pty Ltd. RACQ accepts no responsibility for this follow-up work. While not guaranteed, RACQ’s Service Provider will endeavour for a licensed tradesperson to arrive within 4 hours.


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Things to note

The information in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice or specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in the document is general advice, not intended as legal advice or professional advice and does not take into account any person’s particular circumstances. Before acting on anything based on this advice you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives and needs.