With cyclone and storm season upon us, it is important to stay informed of your local risk. If you can, check your local area disaster dashboard, sign up for BOM weather notifications and tune in to local radio ABC weather updates

It’s also important to prepare your home, pack/check your emergency kit and if possible check on your neighbours if it is safe to do so. Here is some advice on what you can do if a cyclone, severe thunderstorm or floodwater is on the way, and what you should do generally to prepare for severe weather season.

What to do when a cyclone, severe thunderstorm or flood is on the way

Disconnect Electrical Power
Know how to disconnect utilities
Locate and be ready to disconnect or shut down your gas, electricity, solar power and water services if instructed.
Collect Water
Find the strongest and safest room
This should be away from big windows, in a bathroom, walk-in wardrobe, or hallway in case you need to shelter in your home during a severe storm or cyclone. If you do have to shelter in place, cover any windows in your safe room with a mattress or heavy blanket to protect you from broken glass if the window breaks.
Close Windows
Secure your home
Fasten all cyclone screens and board up any exposed windows, doors and seep holes if you can. Securely tape plastic sheeting to the inside of windows to keep wind and rain out of your home.
Vehciles
Park somewhere safe, and have a plan to leave early
Put fuel in your vehicle so you are ready to evacuate if needed. Park it in a sheltered area away from trees, powerlines and waterways. If you know a flood is coming, leave your home early and go somewhere safer. Check for road closures before you leave.
Valuables
Move valuables and electrical items
Empty and raise fridges and freezers and stack or move furniture, valuables, and electrical items. Store any poison and chemicals well above ground level.
Internal Drains
Prepare water supply and internal drains
Fill buckets and bath with clean water in case of interruptions to main supply. Prepare to sandbag internal drains and toilets to prevent sewage backflow.
Livestock Feed
Look after your animals
If you can, move your livestock, horses and other animals to a safe paddock that has high ground and shelter from the wind. Keep your pets (including cats) indoors, make sure they have a safe place, food and water and something to clean up mess. Have a pet emergency kit ready to go to save you time during emergencies.
Woman cleaning up yard outside of house icon
Secure loose items
Secure loose items that could cause damage if blown around in high winds (such as garden furniture and toys). Move outdoor equipment, rubbish, chemicals, and poisons out of harms way.

House maintenance for severe weather season

Roof Condition
Roof Condition
Check the condition of your roof and repair if needed
Leaf Litter Gutter
Gutters and down pipes
Keep gutters and downpipes clear of leaves and other blockages.
Overhanging Branches
Overhanging branches
Trim trees and branches that are close to your buildings. Always check with your local council first. Also, let your power distributor (Energex or Ergon etc.) know if any are overhanging power lines.
House Repair
House repairs
Fix any rust, loose fittings and rotting or termite-affected timber.
Window Seals
Window seals
Repair any broken seals around windows to make sure water can't get inside.
Kiddy Pool
Water
Have good access to water around your house e.g. tanks, swimming pools. Don’t rely on electric pumps and town water because these may stop working in extreme weather.
Debris
Debris and garden waste
Keep yard clear of leaves and rubbish. Remove vegetation around fence lines.
Renters Renting
Renting?
Alert your landlord or property manager of any maintenance that needs to take place around your home.

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. Make sure to check your insurance policy has enough cover for your home and contents.

Strengthen your home against extreme weather 

Home maintenance is key to improving your home’s resilience. This might be as simple as tidying up around the yard, or you can think about resilient design and materials. Learn more about resilient building options by clicking here. 

How to Guides

Bunnings' 'Do it Yourself' series has tips for preparing your home for extreme weather.  There are some great options below or visit their website for more information by clicking here. 

Watch How To Prepare For A Flood - DIY At Bunnings on YouTube.
Watch How To Prepare Your Roof For the Wet Season - DIY At Bunnings on YouTube.
Watch How to Clean Gutters - DIY at Bunnings on YouTube.
Watch How To Prepare Your Home For A Bushfire - DIY At Bunnings on YouTube.