Protect yourself this Storm Season

 

With the Courier Mail reporting that “BRISBANE” will become ground zero for wild weather as meteorologists predict a highly active storm season across Queensland.

The severe weather outlook for 2016 and 2017 has indicated a heightened severe weather season with an increased risk of damaging thunderstorms, rain, and cyclones.  Heightened cyclone activity is also predicted with up to four cyclones expected.”

Storm season. You know it’s on it’s way. The temperature is warming up, humidity is rising and we know that we will soon be doing that familiar dance: run to shut the flung-open windows (or hope you remembered to shut them before leaving the house).

For many of us ‘urbanites’ we don’t often take storm season too seriously. We might take the odd storm seriously, but how many of us are actually storm-ready?

And, what does storm-ready even mean? Don’t you love lists? We thought you might like to peruse this one:

  • Before storm season begins, prepare an emergency kit: torches, towels, masking tape and plastic sheets. And maybe a bag of your favourite salted food
  • Put together a list of emergency phone numbers: think, State Emergency Service, your electricity and gas providers, insurance company and a written record of family’s phone numbers (you’ll be glad you did when the power is out and your phone is flat)
  • If you’re at risk of flooding, keep your plastic shopping bags and get some sand to make sand bags to divert water
  • If you’ve got large trees near your house arrange for an arborist (that’s a tree doctor) to trim them, or if they are on the nature strip, call your local council or electricity provider
  • Check and clean your roof, gutters and downpipes
  • Identify loose objects in your yard such as outdoor furniture and toys to put away or secure if a storm approaches
  • Make sure everyone in your household knows about storm risks and where your emergency kit is stored
  • Try to find the old battery operated transistor radio, remember them?  If there is no power or internet this will be your best way to get information.
  • When driving do not drive in to water across the road, you just never know how deep it really is and if your car stops, then you can be in big trouble.

With lightening imminent, getting up that big tree with a chainsaw just isn’t smart. Anytime actually. And who really wants to get up on the roof and clear the full-to-the-brim gutters? Even in pleasant conditions?

For those not keen on these types of outdoor pursuits: invest. Invest in the services of professionals. When faced with the option of thousands of dollars of water damage from blocked gutters and down-pipes, you’ll be glad you did.

Protect yourself this Storm Season

Now, of course there are numerous advantages to building cities in proximity to rivers but there are risks involved too. Like many cities around the world, Brisbane has been built on a floodplain. And this means when it rains, many of our homes and businesses are at risk of flooding.

To see what risk your property faces when the rains come, have a look here. (Brisbane residents only). It may seem obvious, but we should all consider flood risk when building or renovating.

And finally, 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 Brisbane resident see which council areas are covered by the Early Warning Network here (scroll down to “EWN Registration” in the left-hand navigation), or register for a free trial here.

It doesn’t have to be people versus Mother Nature, just be prepared and know what’s coming and you’ve got a better chance of handling what she throws at you.

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