Between October and March, the Australian state of Queensland experiences hot, sticky temperatures and heavy rainfall.
It’s not always blue skies in the Sunshine state, so here are some tips on how to prepare your home during the rainy season, especially during severe storms. Following these tips will help minimise the effects of water damage to your property.
Storm proof your home
Queensland’s storms are notorious for wreaking havoc on homes and other properties. Do the following to make sure your home is storm proof all throughout the year:
- Trim the trees in your yard and move away dead branches away from your house.
- Keep your roof in good condition by clearing the gutters, repairing loose tiles and sealing leaks.
- If you reside in an area often visited by cyclones, install shutters or metal screens to prevent windows from breaking.
- If you have an automated sprinkler system make sure to turn it off, or if you have a pool make sure the water level is low, so water from these sources will not add to the deluge.
- Learn the Emergency Plan that the Queensland government has prepared for its citizens, designed to prepare them in cases of emergencies.
Do research on flooding in your area. Your local planning and zoning office can tell you whether your home is above or below the flood level, or whether there is a history of flooding where you live.
Before the storm arrives
You have plenty of time to prepare before the storm arrives. Make sure to do the following:
- Move your cars and boat in a shelter.
- Tie down your outdoor furniture.
- Tape your windows with industrial-strength packing tape to protect the windows during high winds.
- Unplug all appliances.
- Bring your pets and any unsecured items inside your house.
- If there is a cyclone, turn off electricity, gas and water switches.
- Learn how to turn off the electricity in your home in case of flooding. Remember not to switch the power on until everything has been dried out.
If an evacuation is imminent, make sure all your doors and windows are locked and you have your Emergency Kit with you.
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During the storm
It is safest to stay in a stairwell or small room, like a basement or bathroom, while the storm is raging outside. Listen to the radio or watch the television for any updates on the storm, so you’ll know when the storm has passed or an evacuation is necessary.
Cyclones, floods and summer storms are natural occurrences in Queensland, so it is advisable to always be prepared for the rainy season.
Make sure your home insurance is current and covers the cost of cleaning up and disposing of debris around your house and repairing broken furniture and other items in your house. Take photos of the damage to an object or item to use are evidence when processing a claim.
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