While we live in the Sunshine State, we know it’s not always blue skies. Rain and storms are a part of living in this beautiful corner of the world.
We’ve put together helpful tips on how to prepare your home and car for storms, hail and cyclones in Queensland.
How to prepare your home before a storm
There’s no need to wait until the summer storm season to get your place into shape. Stormproof your home at any time of the year by:
- Preparing your emergency plan.
Cutting back trees and ensuring you move dead branches away from the house.
- Keeping up with roof maintenance. Clearing gutters, securing loose tiles and sealing any leaks.
- Installing cyclone or roller shutters or plywood coverings if you’re in a cyclone-prone area. This helps prevent broken windows.
If a storm is imminent, you’ll want to secure your property from the elements by:
- Tying down or storing away any outdoor furniture so they do not become projectiles.
- Moving vehicles undercover and securing boats in a safe anchorage.
- Taping your windows, in an X pattern with strong packing tape. This reduces the chance of windows breaking during high winds.
- Bringing unsecured items inside your home.
As a weather event worsens you may need to consider additional steps to prevent or minimise damage to your utility connections and look after the safety of you and your loved ones. This may include:
- Unplugging all appliances and turning off the electricity.
- Turning off the gas and water if there is a cyclone warning.
- Getting an emergency kit together of essentials you’ll need.
- If you are evacuating, locking all doors and securing windows.
How to prepare your car before a storm
Dangerous storms, especially large hail events, can cause irreparable damage to cars. Parking your car in a garage is often the safest option but not everyone has access to one.
If you don’t have access to a garage, here are some things you can do to protect your car before a hail storm sets in:
Check the local weather and sign up for apps that alert you of extreme weather. This way you can time your preparations.
- Leave your car in the covered car park of a shopping centre.
- Park your car in a carport to provide some protection.
- Invest in a padded car cover.
- If you can’t get a car cover, use blankets to cover the vehicle. Place the car’s floormats on the windscreen for extra protection.
If you are caught driving during a dangerous storm or hail:
- Slow down and find a safe place to pull over.
- If possible, pull over beneath a freeway overpass or find a nearby service station with a canopy.
As mentioned above, padded car covers can go a long way toward preventing or reducing damage caused by hail stones. However, not any car cover will do. Be sure to look for these things in a car cover:
- Overall quality of the product. The fit, stitching and durability of materials make a difference.
- The total area and thickness of padding also matter. Covers with padded sides will provide more protection to side panels.
- Check that it has adequate tie-down points to prevent flapping or loss of the cover in high winds.
- Consider the size and weight of the cover. Remember you will need to store it when not in use. Storing bulky covers in cars with smaller boot/hatch areas can be a problem.
- Check that cover manufacturer warrants the product for UV resistance and manufacturing defects.
- Choose a cover that best fits the vehicle. If it’s too big it may flap around, too small and it will not fully cover the lower sections of panels.
Securing your home or car can help better protect them during extreme weather events.
For everything else, RACQ is here to help by providing quality home, contents and car cover.