Get ready for extreme weather

Queensland is no stranger to damaging storms, cyclones, heavy rain, and flooding, especially in summer.

We all know we can time our watch to a Queensland summer storm and that our Sunshine State can also bring wild, wet and windy weather. This severe weather season, make sure you’re ready to handle whatever comes our way. Get ready with our top tips for staying safe before, during and after a severe weather event.

Make an insurance claim

Safety preparations to consider before a storm hits

While we live in the Sunshine State, we know it's not always blue skies. Sometimes nature takes its course and rain and storms impact our lives, so we’ve put together some helpful tips on how to prepare for storms and cyclones in Queensland. To protect yourself, make sure you:

  • Tie down or store away any outdoor furniture.
  • Move vehicles undercover and secure boats in a safe anchorage.
  • Tape your windows in an X pattern with strong packing tape to reduce the chances of windows breaking during high winds.
  • Bring your pets and unsecured items inside your home.
  • Unplug all appliances, and turn off your electricity.
  • Turn off your gas and water in a cyclone.
  • If you are evacuating, lock all doors and windows securely, and make sure you get an emergency kit to be ready for storms and emergencies.

How to storm-proof your home

You can better protect your home from the damage Queensland’s storms can create. Storm-proof your home at any time of the year by:

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    Ensuring trees in your yard are cut back with dead branches moved away from your house.
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    Maintaining your roof by keeping your gutters clear, securing loose tiles, and fixing sealing leaks.
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    Installing shutters or metal screens if you are in a cyclone-prone area to help prevent windows breaking.
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    Preparing your emergency plan.

Are you storm prepared?

From cyclones, floods and summer storms, we've experienced our fair share of natural disasters. Alarmingly, RACQ statistics show half of all Queensland homeowners have done nothing to prepare for the upcoming storm season. So, are you and your family prepared for when disaster strikes next? Take a look at the first RACQ TV episode about being storm prepared. It has a checklist of simple things to do around your home to make sure you're ready for that next storm.

Are you storm prepared?

Safety preparations to follow during a storm

While we live in the Sunshine State, we know it's not always blue skies. Sometimes nature takes its course and rain and storms impact our lives, so we’ve put together some helpful tips to follow during storms and cyclones in Queensland. 

Protect your car from hail damage

During dangerous storms, large hail can cause irreparable damage to cars. Padded car covers intended to prevent or reduce the damage caused by hail stones are available.

  • The level of protection offered by hail covers will ultimately depend on the type of cover and the size of the hail.
  • Hail covers are unlikely to prevent damage from very large hail however they may reduce the level of damage.
  • As a guide, hail covers can cost from $200 to more than $500. The price will depend on the quality and features of the cover and whether it is custom made for your particular car.
  • Practice fitting the cover before a storm. It can take a few attempts to get it on the car without too much effort.
  • Avoid dragging the cover over the ground as it may pick up grit that can scratch the car’s paintwork.
  • Avoid dragging the cover on the body paintwork when fitting / removing to prevent dirt / dust on the car causing scratches.
  • Heavy or bulky covers may need more than one person to fit / remove and roll up for storage.
  • Remove covers regularly to allow any moisture to evaporate. Moisture trapped under a cover could induce rust.

When buying a car cover, consider the following;

  • Overall quality of the product i.e. fit, stitching, extent and thickness of padding, quality and durability of materials.
  • Covers that don’t have padded sides are unlikely to protect side panels.
  • Check that it has adequate tie-down points to prevent flapping or loss of the cover in high winds.
  • Check the quality of stitching and the durability of the cover as it needs to withstand frequent fitting and gusty winds.
  • Consider the size and weight of the cover. Remember that it needs to be stored when not in use. Storing bulky covers in cars with smaller boot/hatch areas can be a problem.
  • Check that the cover manufacturer warrants the product for UV resistance and manufacturing defects.
  • Choose a cover that best fits the vehicle – too big and it may flap around, too small and it will not fully cover the lower sections of panels.

Tune in to updates (radio/TV)

Listen to your local radio station on a smart device or battery powered radio for storm and flood updates. This information will help you work out if the storm has passed or if you need to evacuate. You should always avoid driving, walking, swimming or riding through floodwater. Floodwater could be contaminated with bacteria or disease, or have dangerous currents or broken roadway below. Check the Queensland Government disaster and alerts website

After the storm

Once a weather event has passed, here’s what you can do to start the recovery process.

  • Only go back to your home if local authorities have advised it's safe to enter.
  • Don’t attempt to enter your property if it feels unsafe. If urgent assistance is required, call your local SES on 132 500 and if you see an electrical risk, call Energex on 13 19 62.
  • Don't allow children to play near flood waters.
  • Keep damp areas well ventilated – open windows and let things dry out (if it’s stopped raining) but always maintain security if leaving the property.
  • Take regular breaks, drink plenty of fluids and don’t let yourself overheat.
  • Damaged or soiled items can be a health hazard, please remove to a safe area.
  • Do not turn on any appliances that have been wet.

Starting the clean up

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    You don't need to wait for insurance assessors to start cleaning up your home.
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    Wear light clothing that keeps your skin covered and protective footwear.
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    Dispose of any food waste or other items that may be a health hazard.
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    Throw out items that have been damaged (but get a photo first) – things like wet carpets, curtains and other damaged goods. If possible, retain a sample of the materials and record serial or model numbers from appliances.
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    Keep receipts if you need to purchase essential items such as bedding, clothing or food.
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    If you are able please take photographs of the damage and any damaged goods.
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    Reach out to your insurer, as there may be some short term support available.

Vehicle tips

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    If your vehicle has had water in the interior, do not start or drive it.
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    If water has not entered the interior, but has inundated the engine bay (headlight height) or the exhaust, do not start or drive it.
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    Where possible, take images of the exterior (showing the water line if visible) and interior (through windows is fine).
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    If safe to do so, remove personal items including toll tags and garage remotes, leaving logbooks in the vehicle.

Save time and make a claim online

Storms, flood, hail and cyclones can cause a lot of damage very quickly, and rebuilding your home can be hard. You can easily make a claim online here or call us on 13 7202 and we’ll help you as much as we can from there. If you have any questions about what you can claim for, call us to discuss your cover on 13 7202.

Make an online insurance claim 

Insurance discount for reducing your risk of cyclone damage

We want to reward you for protecting your most valuable asset

North Queenslanders may be eligible for RACQ insurance premium discounts if a home they own and/or live in has undergone work to reduce its risk of cyclone damage. To be eligible for a discount of up to 20% on your existing or new RACQ insurance policy specific structural changes to your property need to be completed, such as^:

  • The installation of roofing options such as over batten systems and/or strapping
  • The installation of opening protection
  • A complete roof replacement
  • A complete retrofit - to the current building code.

Check your eligibility

Call us on 13 1905 to see if you qualify for a cyclone mitigation discount. If you're an existing member you can also complete our online form to check your eligibility. We'll advise you if you're eligible for a discount within two working days.

Check if you're eligible

^How the discount works

You might also be interested in...

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Combined home and contents insurance

Save up to 13% on your premium when you combine your home and contents into a single policy.^^
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Comprehensive car insurance

Coverage wherever you are, whoever is driving and whatever the weather. Get a $50* discount when you buy online.

Things to note

Insurance products (excluding Travel Insurance and the Life and Income Protection Insurance suite of products) are issued by RACQ Insurance Limited ABN 50 009 704 152 (RACQ). Conditions, limits and exclusions apply. This is general advice only and may not be right for you. This information does not take your personal objectives, circumstances or needs into account. Read the PDS and any applicable Supplementary PDS before making a purchase decision on this product. You can also access our Target Market Determinations on this website.

*Excludes pay later option.

^^ Home and contents must be owner-occupied at the same address.

^See Cyclone Mitigation Discount terms and conditions for more information. 

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.