Like all significant weather events, the key to minimizing harm and damage from major storms is by being well prepared. To get your home ready for storm season, here are a few pointers.
Take care of your roof
Inspect your roof to ensure it’s in good nick. If not, it’s probably time to get a quote for any necessary maintenance and repairs. While you’re up there, make sure you clear your gutters of any leaves and other debris. By doing so you’ll ensure that rainwater flows freely from your gutters to storm water drains on your property. If your gutters are full with rubbish, they will fill up and overflow, sending the rainwater into the eaves of your house. This will affect the structural timbers of your property and could even wet internal walls. However, before you get up on your roof, make sure you have all the right safety gear. Have a chat to experts like Safe at Heights who can sort you out with products and advice to ensure you inspect your roof safely, you can check out their website at www.safeatheightsqld.com.au
Fix damaged areas of your home
If there are any elements of your home that are corroded or damaged in anyway, these could weaken the structure of the building altogether and could affect how it holds up in a major storm. If in doubt, have your home inspected and repaired by a qualified builder.
Trim your trees
Trees are one of the first things to be affected by forceful winds and they can pose a significant danger to people and property if they become airborne. Ensure large trees directly near your home are trimmed and any dead branches are removed. When you’re planting trees around your home, remember that gums lose their branches easily and their shallow roots can cause them to uproot and fall over.
Secure loose items
Make sure any loose items outside your home are either put inside or fixed securely. Shade-clothes and other structures (eg. gazebos) really should be wind-rated and professionally installed.
Update your insurance
Firstly, make sure your home is actually covered for ‘storm’ damage. Be sure to read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) you would have received when you set up your insurance policy. Insurers have different definitions for storms and resulting floods, so make sure you’re adequately protected. In terms of your contents, have you done an inventory of everything you own? You might be surprised what the replacement value for your contents is. Most people underestimate the worth of their contents and are therefore underinsured. Many insurance companies have tools to help you identify and value your contents.
In addition to preparing your home for storm season, make sure you and your family are prepared by:
• Knowing the safest room in the house to seek shelter if necessary
• Having an emergency plan and kit with supplies, should be cut off from power, water and telecommunications
For more information on how to prepare an emergency plan and what you should put in your emergency kit, sites like Storm Wise will offer some great advice.
Storms come and go quickly but their impact on our homes and communities can last for months afterwards. Make sure your home and family are ‘storm ready’, by taking a few simple steps to increase your chances of coming out unscathed.