While we're known to live in the 'Sunshine State,' we know that it's not always home to blue skies and rainbows. Most of us have felt mother nature's force during one of Queensland's wicked storms, many of which have just hit in recent weeks, particularly here in Brisbane.
It's our extreme weather events that make it so important for us to make sure our homes are well-prepared for both before and after a storm, ensuring our own personal safety and longevity of our beloved fortresses. Here's what you need to know to survive the storm season.
Before the storm
It doesn't take long to perform a few simple steps to best prepare your home for an extreme weather event. If you know a storm is on it's way (hopefully by keeping informed to the weather forecast and not by looking at a dark and ominous sky...), it's time to survey your property before battening down the hatches. If you haven't already done so, you can get live weather alerts and updates for your local area by signing up the Brisbane City Council's free Early Warning Alert Service here. If you're after a more comprehensive overview of what's in store, you can also download the Weatherzone app.
- Tie down or store away any outdoor furniture that might be at risk. If you've got a pool, you can store any large items that are particularly weather/proof in the water (only if they're not too buoyant!)
- Ensure your vehicles are parked undercover. If you don't have an undercover spot to store your vehicle, try and find one close by in an aboveground (not at risk of flooding), undercover carpark at your local shopping centre or friend's place.
- Tape down your windows using an 'X' shaped pattern to prevent any breakages. This is particularly important for events with strong winds or hail.
- Unplug all electrical items and appliances. Yes, this includes phone chargers. Perhaps consider cutting the power altogether. Bring out the boardgames!
- In the event of a cyclone, turn off your gas and water.
- Lock all doors and windows.
- Prepare an emergency kit. You've most likely got a first-aid kit (if not, get one now!), so why not invest in an emergency kit? This can include anything from a small torch, to spare clothing and a radio.
When you find the time, you can also storm-proof your home to better protect it from damage our storms can create. These tasks can be done at anytime of the year, so it's recommended you make some time for them:
- Ensure all trees and foliage are cut back, with dead branches removed from the property, or well away from your dwelling.
- Clear your gutters and safeguard your roof. This can include things like securing any loose tiles, and sealing any visible/potential leaks.
- Prepare an emergency plan. Where's your nearest emergency shelter? What essential items should you have on your person? Do you need to take anything with you if evacuating? These questions can be answered by knowing what to do in an emergency plan.
During the storm
Once you've finished preparing for the storm, now's the time to actually weather it (pardon the pun!). There are a few precautions you can take during the storm to ensure you're in the best position possible to come out the other side.
- If you find yourself stuck outside, find a shelter to remain safe. If the storm has hit unexpectedly, try and shelter yourself in a safe place that's close by. Try to avoid areas with lots of trees (especially if they're littered with dead branches), and powerlines.
- If driving, try and find a safe place to stop. You'll want to make sure this place is also away from trees and powerlines, in case any of them have the potential to collapse.
- Stay in a stairwell or small room. If you're finding the storm to be quite severe, locate to a stairwell or small room (like a bathroom or basement), as these are usually the safest parts of the home... structurally speaking.
- Remember to contact SES or 000 if in serious danger. Serious danger means an emergency. Only make this call as required.
Hopefully, you wont often find yourself needing that last step, but it's there if you do. Queensland is quite prone to thunderous storms during the summer, so it's always a smart decision to prepare for the worst. There are even cautionary steps to follow after a storm has hit, which you can read more about here.
At Place Estate Agent's, we pride ourselves on providing the best advice and service to our clients. After all, it's what makes us Brisbane's choice for real estate in this great city. To keep up-to-date with all things Brisbane real estate, subscribe to our weekly newsletter below.