Storm Season Is Upon Us, Prepare Now!
Are You Ready For This Year’s Storm Season?
Now is the time to start preparing for this year’s storm season. Don’t leave it till a few hours before a storm, as you might not be home when a bad one passes over. A lot can happen in the brief few mins it takes for a fast moving severe storm to pass over your house. High wind gusts can easily blow away things like outdoor furniture, small structures like dog kennels, bird aviaries and most notably, trampolines!
Important Phone Numbers:
- Police, Fire, Ambulance: 000
- SES: 13 25 00
- Energex – Fallen Power Lines: 13 19 62
- Energex – Loss of Supply: 13 62 62
- Report flooded roads in the Moreton Bay Regional Council area to: 3205 0555 OR report it on their disaster management page: https://www.facebook.com/MoretonBayCouncil
The Golden Rules:
- “If it’s flooded FORGET IT!” It doesn’t matter whats on the other side, you are not only risking your own life, and your vehicle, but if you get stuck and need assistance, then you are risking the lives of those who come to save you. So please, do not drive through flood waters!
- Stay away from fallen trees which are near power lines, as trees fall they might very well bring the power lines down with them, and those lines might still be live. Leave this to the experts! Look and live!
- Do not stand out in the open. Stay well under cover. If you can hear thunder then the storm is close enough that lightning can strike you!
Preparing Your Home
The following are some steps you can take to give your home, and those around you the best chance at weathering a severe storm:
- Clean out gutters and down pipes. Check your roof for potential problems.
- Clean out any spoon drains, grated drains, and remove leaf litter from around these areas that might wash in and clog the drains.
- Trim back trees from the roof line (be aware of overhead power lines)
- Gather items such as water bottles/storage containers so they can be filled when warnings are issued. Have either a BBQ or camp stove and fuel ready for cooking in case of long periods without power or gas. Have extra fuel for your vehicles on hand (make sure it’s stored safely).
- Know where to turn off mains supplies for power, water and gas.
- And find the safest room in the house to shelter in during servere weather. This would normally be the toilet or bathroom as they are the smallest rooms but if they have large windows a safer place might be in a hallway.
When Warnings Are Issued For Your Area
If the Bureau of Meteorology issues warnings of storms for the day, and it’s possible for you to periodically check the weather radar it can give you a good idea of what’s happening. If there are storms in the area you will have some idea of the severity and a bit of advanced warning.
When warnings are issued for your local area, the following are some preparations you can make:
- SECURE YOUR TRAMPOLINES!!!!! All too often trampolines are just placed in the backyard with no thought as to what will happen to them during a storm. The wind can catch them very easily and carry them high and far, as you can see from this photo from the ABC website (www.abc.net.au). Please make sure trampolines are properly pegged down so they do not blow away and cause major damage to our Electrical supply, someone elses property or cause a car accident.
- Be sure there are no loose items like roofing iron and tarpaulin which can be blown away and cause damage to yours or your neighbours properties .
- Make sure outdoor furniture is secured, put away or secure gardening items including wheel barrows.
- Fill bottles and other water storage containers and even your bath with water in case of interruptions to the water supply.
- Disconnect electrical appliances from wall power sockets, antenna sockets, computer network connections and phone lines.
- Close windows and doors to prevent water damage inside the house.
Moreton Bay Regional Council has a “Disaster Communication System”. It’s an sms, email and voice notification alert system which you can sign up to and it’s free. Click here for more information.
For more information the QLD Govt. in conjunction with RACQ have put together a website dedicated to helping QLD households prepare for storm and fire seasons, with step-by-step guides and further detailed instructions and suggestions. Click here for the Get Ready Queensland website.