Here on the North side of Brisbane – in parts like Everton Park and McDowall at least – we’ve been really lucky this storm season. So far. But when it’s human versus Mother Nature, you know it’s only a matter of time. So, best be ready.
Unless you’ve been under a rock of late, you’ve probably heard or read somewhere about getting storm-ready. And most of us run over these checklists and take a few actions with our family homes.
But for those investors out there with rental properties, have you considered your legal and moral obligation to ensure your property is storm ready? Here’s five things you should do to ensure when a storm hits, you’re prepared:
- Be Flood Aware
Remember the Boy Scout motto? Something about being prepared. Well, by knowing the likelihood of flooding affecting your property in adverse weather can help determine your Summer storm preparedness plan. Check out the Brisbane City Council’s Flood Awareness Maps, here.
- Listen to the trees
Come routine inspection time, pay a visit to your property with your agent. No one will think you’re crazy if you stand in the middle of the yard staring up at the trees. What you need to be doing is thinking about whether those branches, if propelled by gusts of wind, will impale the house. Or the neighbours. Or fall across the power lines. If in doubt, invest in an arborist (tree cutter who loves trees), tree-cutter (may still love trees), or contact Energex if power lines are involved.
- Get high
Out of sight, out of mind, right? Wrong. Roof gutters full of leaf litter can cause untold damage when heavy rain comes and you get back-flow into your house. If doing your own property maintenance isn’t your thing, then invest in some help and make this part of your annual to-do list.
- Get organised
As important as it is to keep your personal papers in order, it’s just as important to keep your rental property papers separate and in order. Tidy up. File. Organise. Put together a list of emergency phone numbers: think, State Emergency Service, electricity and gas providers, and of course insurance details (you’ll be glad you did when the power is out and your phone is flat).
- If you do nothing else, then do this
Did you know you could get storm alerts sent to you by email, SMS to your mobile, or to your home landline? Brisbane residents can register for the Early Warning Network here or if you’re not a resident see which council areas are covered by the Early Warning Network here. At least you’ll know when something’s heading your way!
By being prepared, as with anything in life, you stand a far greater chance of keeping your head, keeping your investment property and maybe even having a little something left over to help others when they need a hand. Start prepared and stay safe.