What you can do to protect your home and contents

You know the risks you need to plan for so now is the time to get your home prepared so you are ready when the next natural disaster hits. As it’s not a matter of if, but when.

The best place to start is home maintenance.  Keeping your garden maintained and looking out for any damage on your home as a result of age or a previous incident will ensure your home is in the best shape it can be to weather a natural disaster.

Once you home is looking good (and we all know maintenance is an ongoing task as gardens grow and homes age), you can then put a home preparation plan in place so you know how to protect your home, your possessions and your family when a severe weather warning is issued.

Home maintenance

Every home is different but there are always tasks you can do to maintain your home so it’s ready for the next natural disaster. If you are renting and notice something that needs rectifying, talk to your property manager or landlord about getting it fixed. Rectifying it now will save money in the long run.

Hover over the interactive dots below or expand the checklist to find out how. 

Alternatively the following checklist is also available in the Get Ready Queensland protect what's most important to you booklet which is available to download.

Home maintenance scene
Roof condition

Check the condition of the roof regularly and repair loose tiles, eaves, screws and cracked or broken guttering or flashing.

20.00%
51.00%
Loose roof tile icon
Gutters and down pipes

Clean gutters and downpipes so water can drain away as quickly as possible.

31.00%
22.00%
Down pipe icon
Overhanging branches

Trim trees and overhanging branches that are close to your home.

12.00%
68.00%
Overhanging tree icon
House repairs

Fix any corrosion, loose fittings and rotting or termite-affected timber.

41.00%
75.00%
Damaged house icon
Window seals

Repair any broken sealant around window sills to makewater tight.

44.00%
64.00%
WIndow seals icon
Standing water

Empty standing water from any containers and paddling pools that are not frequently emptied  in the yard to prevent mosquito growth which can carry disease.

93.00%
35.00%
Kiddy pool icon
Roof condition

Check the condition of the roof regularly and repair loose tiles, eaves, screws and cracked or broken guttering or flashing.

20.00%
51.00%
Loose roof tile icon
Gutters and down pipes

Clean gutters and downpipes so water can drain away as quickly as possible.

31.00%
22.00%
Down pipe icon
Overhanging branches

Trim trees and overhanging branches that are close to your home.

12.00%
68.00%
Overhanging tree icon
House repairs

Fix any corrosion, loose fittings and rotting or termite-affected timber.

41.00%
75.00%
Damaged house icon
Window seals

Repair any broken sealant around window sills to makewater tight.

44.00%
64.00%
WIndow seals icon
Standing water

Empty standing water from any containers and paddling pools that are not frequently emptied  in the yard to prevent mosquito growth which can carry disease.

93.00%
35.00%
Kiddy pool icon
Roof condition

Check the condition of the roof regularly and repair loose tiles, eaves, screws and cracked or broken guttering or flashing.

20.00%
51.00%
Loose roof tile icon
Gutters and down pipes

Clean gutters and downpipes so water can drain away as quickly as possible.

31.00%
22.00%
Down pipe icon
Overhanging branches

Trim trees and overhanging branches that are close to your home.

12.00%
68.00%
Overhanging tree icon
House repairs

Fix any corrosion, loose fittings and rotting or termite-affected timber.

41.00%
75.00%
Damaged house icon
Window seals

Repair any broken sealant around window sills to makewater tight.

44.00%
64.00%
WIndow seals icon
Standing water

Empty standing water from any containers and paddling pools that are not frequently emptied  in the yard to prevent mosquito growth which can carry disease.

93.00%
35.00%
Kiddy pool icon

Home preparation by disaster

Just as a bushfire is different from a cyclone in regards to the type of threat it poses and damage it causes, so too are your home preparation plans.

Based on your understanding of the risk that you face where you live, use the following guides to make a plan for your home in order to best protect it, your family and your possessions in the event of a natural disaster.

The following home preparation checklists  are also available in the Get Ready Queensland protect what's most important to you booklet which is available to download.

Cyclones and storms and flooding

Winds caused by cyclones are powerful enough to break large trees and blow away garden sheds and poorly constructed roofed patios. They can also cause extensive property damage and turn loose items into wind-borne debris, causing further building damage. Our sub-tropical climate also means it can rain a lot in the summer months, which can lead to floods. Take the steps below to put a plan in place to prepare your home for cyclones, storms and flooding. To find out if you are at risk where you live check out cyclones and storm surges, storms and floods.

Hover over the interactive dots below or expand the checklist to find out how.

Inside house scene
Identify where to shelter

Identify which room is the strongest part of  the house, in case you need to shelter in your home during a severe storm or cyclone. Usually this would be the smallest room in the house, with the least windows e.g. bathroom  or laundry.

58.00%
80.00%
Bathroom icon
Location of utilities

Identify where and how to turn off the mains supply for water, power and gas.

50.00%
45.00%
Cupboard icon
Emergency and evacuation kits

Pack your emergency and evacuation kits – ensure the location is included on your household emergency and evacuation plan.

52.00%
57.00%
Medical kit icon
Spare fuel

Store safely a spare supply of fuel for use in your vehicle.

93.00%
62.00%
Fuel can icon
Indoor drains

Have readily available hessian bags and sand for sandbagging indoor drains to prevent sewerage backwash from flooding.

62.00%
75.00%
Bathroom drain icon
Secure outdoor items

Identify loose items that would need to be secured that could cause damage if blown around in high winds (such as garden furniture and toys).

16.00%
34.00%
Umbrella icon
Secure poisons

Store all poisons well above ground level.

80.00%
83.00%
Poisonous substances
Secure indoor items

Identify which indoor items you will need to raise or empty if flooding threatens your home.

55.00%
29.00%
Lounge room icon
Identify where to shelter

Identify which room is the strongest part of  the house, in case you need to shelter in your home during a severe storm or cyclone. Usually this would be the smallest room in the house, with the least windows e.g. bathroom  or laundry.

58.00%
80.00%
Bathroom icon
Location of utilities

Identify where and how to turn off the mains supply for water, power and gas.

50.00%
45.00%
Cupboard icon
Emergency and evacuation kits

Pack your emergency and evacuation kits – ensure the location is included on your household emergency and evacuation plan.

52.00%
57.00%
Medical kit icon
Spare fuel

Store safely a spare supply of fuel for use in your vehicle.

93.00%
62.00%
Fuel can icon
Indoor drains

Have readily available hessian bags and sand for sandbagging indoor drains to prevent sewerage backwash from flooding.

62.00%
75.00%
Bathroom drain icon
Secure outdoor items

Identify loose items that would need to be secured that could cause damage if blown around in high winds (such as garden furniture and toys).

16.00%
34.00%
Umbrella icon
Secure poisons

Store all poisons well above ground level.

80.00%
83.00%
Poisonous substances
Secure indoor items

Identify which indoor items you will need to raise or empty if flooding threatens your home.

55.00%
29.00%
Lounge room icon
Identify where to shelter

Identify which room is the strongest part of  the house, in case you need to shelter in your home during a severe storm or cyclone. Usually this would be the smallest room in the house, with the least windows e.g. bathroom  or laundry.

58.00%
80.00%
Bathroom icon
Location of utilities

Identify where and how to turn off the mains supply for water, power and gas.

50.00%
45.00%
Cupboard icon
Emergency and evacuation kits

Pack your emergency and evacuation kits – ensure the location is included on your household emergency and evacuation plan.

52.00%
57.00%
Medical kit icon
Spare fuel

Store safely a spare supply of fuel for use in your vehicle.

93.00%
62.00%
Fuel can icon
Indoor drains

Have readily available hessian bags and sand for sandbagging indoor drains to prevent sewerage backwash from flooding.

62.00%
75.00%
Bathroom drain icon
Secure outdoor items

Identify loose items that would need to be secured that could cause damage if blown around in high winds (such as garden furniture and toys).

16.00%
34.00%
Umbrella icon
Secure poisons

Store all poisons well above ground level.

80.00%
83.00%
Poisonous substances
Secure indoor items

Identify which indoor items you will need to raise or empty if flooding threatens your home.

55.00%
29.00%
Lounge room icon

When severe weather warnings are issued

When a cyclone, severe storm or flooding is predicted by authorities, a severe weather warning will be issued to affected residents via free to air TV stations, local radio, app and website notifications that you have subscribed to on your phone. The alerts and warnings pages will give you an idea of the warnings services available that you can choose to subscribe to, follow, bookmark or tune into. Once issued, take the steps below to prepare your home for the severe weather approaching.

Hover over the interactive dots below or expand the checklist to find out how.
 

Preparing the home for severe weather scene
Disconnect electrical items

Disconnect electrical appliances and all external television and radio aerials.

53.00%
71.00%
TV antenna icon
Collect water

Fill buckets and bath with clean water in case of interruptions to main supply.

65.00%
39.00%
Bathroom icon
Close windows

Close windows with shutters or draw curtains.

80.00%
47.00%
Window shutters icon
Outdoor equipment

Move outdoor equipment, garbage, chemicals and poisons to a higher location.

36.00%
69.00%
Tractor icon
Valuables and electrical items

Empty and raise fridges and freezers and stack or move furniture, valuables and electrical items off-site.

73.00%
63.00%
Refrigerator icon
Internal drains

Sandbag internal drains and toilets to prevent sewage backflow.

65.00%
20.00%
Bathroom icon
Livestock and feed

Move livestock, plant and feed to higher ground.

95.00%
71.00%
Seeds icon
Protect vehicles

Park vehicles under cover, away from trees, powerlines and waterways or secure with firmly tied blankets to minimise hail damage.

64.00%
81.00%
Truck icon
Take shelter

Check all household members are safe (including your pets) and are in the strongest room in the house e.g. bathroom or laundry.

79.00%
33.00%
Pets and children icon
Have your emergency kit on hand

Take your emergency kit in with you whilst sheltering from the storm or cyclone.

64.00%
27.00%
First aid kit icon
Disconnect electrical items

Disconnect electrical appliances and all external television and radio aerials.

53.00%
71.00%
TV antenna icon
Collect water

Fill buckets and bath with clean water in case of interruptions to main supply.

65.00%
39.00%
Bathroom icon
Close windows

Close windows with shutters or draw curtains.

80.00%
47.00%
Window shutters icon
Outdoor equipment

Move outdoor equipment, garbage, chemicals and poisons to a higher location.

36.00%
69.00%
Tractor icon
Valuables and electrical items

Empty and raise fridges and freezers and stack or move furniture, valuables and electrical items off-site.

73.00%
63.00%
Refrigerator icon
Internal drains

Sandbag internal drains and toilets to prevent sewage backflow.

65.00%
20.00%
Bathroom icon
Livestock and feed

Move livestock, plant and feed to higher ground.

95.00%
71.00%
Seeds icon
Protect vehicles

Park vehicles under cover, away from trees, powerlines and waterways or secure with firmly tied blankets to minimise hail damage.

64.00%
81.00%
Truck icon
Take shelter

Check all household members are safe (including your pets) and are in the strongest room in the house e.g. bathroom or laundry.

79.00%
33.00%
Pets and children icon
Have your emergency kit on hand

Take your emergency kit in with you whilst sheltering from the storm or cyclone.

64.00%
27.00%
First aid kit icon
Disconnect electrical items

Disconnect electrical appliances and all external television and radio aerials.

53.00%
71.00%
TV antenna icon
Collect water

Fill buckets and bath with clean water in case of interruptions to main supply.

65.00%
39.00%
Bathroom icon
Close windows

Close windows with shutters or draw curtains.

80.00%
47.00%
Window shutters icon
Outdoor equipment

Move outdoor equipment, garbage, chemicals and poisons to a higher location.

36.00%
69.00%
Tractor icon
Valuables and electrical items

Empty and raise fridges and freezers and stack or move furniture, valuables and electrical items off-site.

73.00%
63.00%
Refrigerator icon
Internal drains

Sandbag internal drains and toilets to prevent sewage backflow.

65.00%
20.00%
Bathroom icon
Livestock and feed

Move livestock, plant and feed to higher ground.

95.00%
71.00%
Seeds icon
Protect vehicles

Park vehicles under cover, away from trees, powerlines and waterways or secure with firmly tied blankets to minimise hail damage.

64.00%
81.00%
Truck icon
Take shelter

Check all household members are safe (including your pets) and are in the strongest room in the house e.g. bathroom or laundry.

79.00%
33.00%
Pets and children icon
Have your emergency kit on hand

Take your emergency kit in with you whilst sheltering from the storm or cyclone.

64.00%
27.00%
First aid kit icon

Bunnings Do it Yourself series offers additional tips below on how you can prepare your home in advance for the severe weather season or for when a cyclone or severe storm is on its way. 

How to prepare your home for a cyclone or severe storm
How to cyclone proof windows and doors when severe weather warnings have been issued

Home preparation for bushfires

Bushfires can cause serious property and infrastructure damage. The fire itself is only one element of the danger. Fire embers can spread many kilometres from the location of a large bushfire, causing smaller spot fires to break out. Also radiant heat can be felt more than 100m away from a large bushfire and has the potential to melt or fracture objects including parts of cars, glass windows, etc. Due to the unpredictable nature of fast moving fires, people are likely to be encouraged to evacuate from their homes as quickly as possible to ensure they are able to reach safety. However, if you live in a bushfire prone area, the following plan of action will help reduce your risk around the home. To find out more about bushfires and if you are at risk where you live check out  the Get Ready bushfire page.

Hover over the interactive dots below or expand the checklist to find out how.

Home preparation for bushfires scene
Check with your local council

Check to see if the vegetation on your property is protected and prohibited from removal by contacting your local council.

57.00%
74.00%
Assessor icon
Water tanks

Have good access to water around your house e.g. tanks, swimming pools. Don’t rely on electric pumps and town water as these services may be unavaialble during fire emergencies.

60.00%
23.00%
Water tank icon
Door mats

Remove door mats or flammable materials.

56.00%
47.00%
Front step icon
Fuel free zone

Maintain a fuel free zone around your fence line.

86.00%
25.00%
Fence icon
No dumping

Never dump garden waste and other flammables in adjoining bushland areas.

3.00%
49.00%
Overhanging tree icon
Overhanging trees

Remove vegetation overhanging your house.

18.00%
65.00%
Roof leaf litter icon
Clear debris from the house

Clean decks, gutters and roof valleys.

34.00%
62.00%
Gutter leaf litter icon
Clear debris from around your house

Rake up bark, leaves and twigs. Do not place garden waste and other flammable materials in fuel free zones, firebreaks and fire access trails.

70.00%
28.00%
Leaf litter icon
Wood pile

Clear firewood, other flammables and rubbish from under and around the house.

44.00%
74.00%
Wood pile icon
Clear access

Make sure your property has clear access for fire trucks.

88.00%
60.00%
Fe
Check with your local council

Check to see if the vegetation on your property is protected and prohibited from removal by contacting your local council.

57.00%
74.00%
Assessor icon
Water tanks

Have good access to water around your house e.g. tanks, swimming pools. Don’t rely on electric pumps and town water as these services may be unavaialble during fire emergencies.

60.00%
23.00%
Water tank icon
Door mats

Remove door mats or flammable materials.

56.00%
47.00%
Front step icon
Fuel free zone

Maintain a fuel free zone around your fence line.

86.00%
25.00%
Fence icon
No dumping

Never dump garden waste and other flammables in adjoining bushland areas.

3.00%
49.00%
Overhanging tree icon
Overhanging trees

Remove vegetation overhanging your house.

18.00%
65.00%
Roof leaf litter icon
Clear debris from the house

Clean decks, gutters and roof valleys.

34.00%
62.00%
Gutter leaf litter icon
Clear debris from around your house

Rake up bark, leaves and twigs. Do not place garden waste and other flammable materials in fuel free zones, firebreaks and fire access trails.

70.00%
28.00%
Leaf litter icon
Wood pile

Clear firewood, other flammables and rubbish from under and around the house.

44.00%
74.00%
Wood pile icon
Clear access

Make sure your property has clear access for fire trucks.

88.00%
60.00%
Fe
Check with your local council

Check to see if the vegetation on your property is protected and prohibited from removal by contacting your local council.

57.00%
74.00%
Assessor icon
Water tanks

Have good access to water around your house e.g. tanks, swimming pools. Don’t rely on electric pumps and town water as these services may be unavaialble during fire emergencies.

60.00%
23.00%
Water tank icon
Door mats

Remove door mats or flammable materials.

56.00%
47.00%
Front step icon
Fuel free zone

Maintain a fuel free zone around your fence line.

86.00%
25.00%
Fence icon
No dumping

Never dump garden waste and other flammables in adjoining bushland areas.

3.00%
49.00%
Overhanging tree icon
Overhanging trees

Remove vegetation overhanging your house.

18.00%
65.00%
Roof leaf litter icon
Clear debris from the house

Clean decks, gutters and roof valleys.

34.00%
62.00%
Gutter leaf litter icon
Clear debris from around your house

Rake up bark, leaves and twigs. Do not place garden waste and other flammable materials in fuel free zones, firebreaks and fire access trails.

70.00%
28.00%
Leaf litter icon
Wood pile

Clear firewood, other flammables and rubbish from under and around the house.

44.00%
74.00%
Wood pile icon
Clear access

Make sure your property has clear access for fire trucks.

88.00%
60.00%
Fe

Insurance

Queensland is the most natural disaster impacted state in Australia, exposing our homes to repeated damage from devastating cyclones, floods and other disaster events such as bushfires. Many people have found out too late that they did not have enough home and contents insurance cover for their property and assets. Regardless if you are a home owner or a renter, this can be extremely costly and stressful. To find out more information about what you should be checking on your policy and questions to ask your insurer to ensure you are covered, check out Get Ready’s Step 3: Make Sure You’re Covered.

Find out more and Get Ready

Check out these other pages and resources to help you Get Ready.