Have you noticed how there's news of a cyclone or storm emergency every couple of months? It seems neither Australia - nor other countries in the world - can get a break from the fury of gales, rains and fires. And it shows no signs of abating.
Try as we might, we cannot control the weather. But we can plan ahead for weather emergencies and reduce the risk to our homes and families.
Here are five essential storm and cyclone safety tips you should know:
1. Be Prepared
The Boy Scouts were onto something when they came up with that motto. It certainly applies for storm and cyclone safety. Take the time now (or immediately after you've read this article) to choose the best shelter in your home or office.
Where possible, try to choose a small room or stairwell, ideally with walls reinforced with pipes (such as a bathroom) or concrete (a basement) on the lowest floor.
Choose a meeting place where your loved ones can gather after a severe storm so you can be sure everyone is safe.
There's no use having a plan if nobody knows what it is when a storm strikes. So make sure everyone concerned knows where to go and what precautions to take.
Budget Direct's 2021 Storm Season survey revealed that less than 30% of Australian's have a storm action plan in place. Being unprepared places your family and yourself at more risk of injury.
Another way to be prepared is to have insurance - and know what your insurance covers! The above survey also revealed that 50% of Australian's surveyed aren't aware of what their insurance does or doesn't cover. Many don't have any insurance at all!
2. Stock Up Your Emergency Kit
Maintain an emergency pack in your home. This should include:
- Battery powered torch and radio
- Tools for emergency repair
- Food supplies
- First aid kit
- Extra clothing
- Water containers
Make sure to pack your emergency kit in waterproof containers!
3. Get Home and Dry
Finally, make sure your home is ready for the storm:
- Anything that isn't secure is a potential danger: tidy up unsecured objects, and trim loose or dying branches around your home.
- If cylinders supply gas to your home, make sure the chains around the cylinders are fixed firmly.
- You should also secure portable cylinders outdoors in an upright position away from strong winds and potential flood waters.
- Board or tape glass on exposed windows.
- Secure all doors.
- Turn off and unplug electrical appliances.
- Store valuables and important documents in a waterproof container in a secure location, such as your car boot.
4. Prepare for the Aftermath
Many people are ready for a storm itself, but not necessarily for the days that follow. Power and communications can be down for days. Shops, banks and petrol stations closed. But with some simple preparations, you can make your family's life a lot more comfortable.
- Invest in a Generator, which will ensure you can keep mission critical items running if the power fails. Sometimes it can take days for power to resume - a generator will ensure you can still charge your mobile phone, keep the refrigerator running for fresh food, and so on.
- Keep your car fuel tank full, as petrol stations may close down after a storm.
- Have extra cash on hand as ATM's and banks may not be operating for some days.
- Fill containers, baths and sinks with water in case water supplies are cut.
5. Stay Informed
Last but not least, the key to staying safe during a storm or cyclone is to stay informed. Always listen for news and weather updates, and obey any safety instructions provided. By knowing what's going on around you in the lead up to and during a storm, you can better prepare your home and family.
For more helpful information visit www.mygenerator.com.au
DISCLAIMER* Please note, this advice is general in nature and we strongly recommend consulting the product manual and where relevant, a professional installer.