Storms or thunderstorms can be unpredictable and can occur with little warning, which is why it is important to understand your risk and have a plan in place to help reduce its effects on you, your family, home and business.

What is a storm?

Storms can comprise of heavy rainfall and flash flooding, damaging winds, lightning strikes and hail. Storms can last many hours and travel long distances, potentially causing considerable damage to homes and vehicles, and causing loss of power, isolation and flash flooding.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, severe storms are likely to produce any of the following:

  • large hail measuring more than 2cm in diameter
  • damaging or destructive wind gusts
  • heavy rainfall which may cause flash flooding
  • tornadoes

Severe thunderstorms can be quite localised and can develop quickly. The exact location of severe thunderstorms can be hard to predict. As it is difficult to forecast the precise location and movement of severe storms before they have started to develop, detailed warnings will generally be provided once they have been observed or detected. The detailed warnings are usually issued without much lead-time before the event.

What is a severe thunderstorm?

Watch Ask the Bureau: What is a severe thunderstorm? on YouTube.
BOM thunderstorm advice

Damage and impact

Storms have potential to cause substantial damage to homes and vehicles caused by heavy winds and large hail. They can damage significant structures such as powerlines, trees and other large objects that can be collected by large winds.

In coastal areas, large wind waves can lead to coastal erosion and flooding.

Tree down across road
Debris over road
Workers clearing away debris

Steps to reduce the impact of severe storms

Take the following steps to reduce the impact of severe storms.

Close up of family checking emergency plan
Natural disasters affect Queenslanders more than anyone else in Australia. Being prepared for severe weather is an important part of living here.
Family and JT packing emergency kit
Having a plan means everyone in your household knows what to do in an emergency. When you are making a plan, you might want to include your neighbours or friends. People you know who are elderly or have special needs may need your help.
Johnathan Thurston
Having an emergency kit is step 3 to Get Ready. Natural disasters can cause your home to lose power (electricity), water and gas. You also may not be able to get to a supermarket or pharmacy for supplies. Prepare an emergency kit and store it somewhere safe so you have the things you need during and after a natural disaster.
Man hitching boat to ute at boat ramp
Put a plan in place to protect your car, caravan and/ or boat during a severe storm.
Man on ladder cleaning gutters
Complete the home maintenance checklist for natural disasters.
Young boy looking at flooded house
Complete the home preparation checklist for severe storms.
Farm house under stormy sky
When a severe weather warning is issued take these immediate steps to keep your family safe.
Truck on flooded road
Subscribe to alerts and warnings services to stay informed of severe storms in your area.

Find out more and Get Ready

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