PREPARE YOUR HOME
1. General maintenance
• Check the condition of the roof and repair loose tiles, eaves and screws.
• Clean gutters and downpipes so water can drain away as quickly as possible.
• Trim trees and overhanging branches.
• Secure loose items that could cause damage if blown around in high winds (such as garden furniture and toys).
2. General preparations
• Ensure your home, contents and car insurance is current and covers your assets adequately – check your policy includes debris clean up and disposal.
• Identify which room is the strongest part of the house, in case you need to shelter in your home during severe storm or cyclone. Usually this would be the smallest room in the house, with the least windows.
• Identify where and how to turn off the mains supply for water, power and gas.
• Purchase emergency essentials to have on hand, such as:
– containers to store drinking water;
– spare supply of fuel for use in your vehicle (ensure you store safely);
– wide masking tape for windows;
– hessian bags and sand for sandbagging indoor drains to prevent sewerage backwash from flooding.
3. If you live in a flood-prone area:
• Store all poisons well above ground level.
• Identify which indoor items you will need to raise or empty if flooding threatens your home.
• Also consider:
– alternatives to carpet floor coverings,
– relocating electrical sockets and power-points to well above floor level.
4. If you live in an area prone to cyclone or severe storm:
• Fit windows with shutters or metal screens for added protection during high winds.
• Arrange a professional builder to check your building and identify measures to increase its structural security to withstand high winds.
5. When severe weather warnings are issued:
• Disconnect electrical appliances and all external television and radio aerials.
• Turn off electricity and gas main supplies if instructed by emergency authorities.
• Secure outdoor furniture and other garden items.
• Fill buckets and bath with clean water in case of interruptions to main supply.
• Close windows with shutters, or use strong tape in a criss-crossing pattern and draw curtains.
• Park vehicles under cover, away from trees, powerlines and waterways.
• If you cannot access undercover shelter for your vehicles, secure with firmly tied blankets to minimise hail damage.
• Check all household members are safe and are in the strongest room in the house.
• Take your emergency kit in with you whilst sheltering from the storm or cyclone.
• Tune in and listen to your local radio station for updates on the event and further warnings and safety messages.