Prepare your property for storm season
Rising temperatures across Australia means that not only is it time to hit the beach, but there's also a growing threat of storms. Some parts of the country are more vulnerable than others, which is why you should think ahead and put the necessary preparations in place.
Having an action plan in mind now can save a lot of time and hassle when a storm is forecast - and not to mention make your property as safe as possible.
Turn off electrical appliances
Storms can often lead to power surges, which is why you'll need to switch off and unplug electrical items in your home. If you have a safety switch then this should kick into action for you, otherwise you will have to turn them all off manually.
Once the storm has passed, don't be tempted to try using any of your appliances until you are sure they are safe. A licensed contractor will be able to test them on your behalf.
Put together a survival pack
It's a good idea to have a survival pack prepared just in case you should ever need it. This will save you the effort of searching for items in the panic of the moment.
This should include bottled water, a first aid kit, battery-powered radio - with spare batteries - and a fully charged mobile phone. Other items you might want to include are a blanket and torch.
Secure loose items
Some households have gas cylinders and other items left outside, which can become a considerable hazard when a storm hits. It's therefore worth securing them to the ground, or moving them indoors if this isn't possible.
Register for alerts
A number of local councils provide an alerts system to residents, which will inform them when a storm is on its way, as well as the damage it has caused. Check to see whether your area has one of these and sign up for it.
The Bureau of Meteorology also has plenty of information that will be invaluable in a severe weather event.
Check on your neighbours
Coming up with a system whereby everyone can check on each other is worthwhile during storm season, especially if you live close to vulnerable people such as the elderly.
Perhaps determine a meeting point so you can all wait out the storm together if it's practical to do so, or a means of getting in touch with each other so everyone knows they are okay.
Posted by Jeremy Elliott