The summer wet season on the Sunshine Coast is upon us, and with that comes the likelihood of some damaging storms. Each year from November to April, we are threatened by the damage caused tropical cyclone events. Travelling in excess of 200km cyclones have the potential to cause a large amount of destruction and devastation so it pays to be prepared. At iO2 we are all about your protection, so here are some points to consider in order to stay safe:
How to prepare for a Cyclone
Prepare your business and/or family by compiling a list of emergency contact numbers as well as nominating a friend in a different state as the central point of contact in case you are separated during a cyclone. It is also useful to prepare an emergency kit with essential items such as a portable radio, spare batteries, torch and a first aid kit. Other things you can do include:
- Have an evacuation plan in place. Local councils can inform you of whether your business or home are prone to flooding in a storm, and can also inform you of evacuation advice.
Perform regular maintenance on your business premises or home as materials deteriorate over time, especially in sub-tropical and tropical climates like ours.
Keep gutters and downpipes clear.
Fit your windows with shutters or metal screens.
Review your business and home insurance policies, ensuring you are covered for storm surge, cyclone damage, and flood. If you are unsure or would like any specific advice we recommend speaking with your insurance broker, or contact the team at iO2.
During a Cyclone – what to do
Cyclone warnings are issued by the Bureau of Meteorology when the gale force winds are predicted to hit within 24 hours.
Once you obtain the latest storm advice, you can use a cyclone-tracking map to plot the path of the cyclone and measure the distance of the cyclone to your business or home.
- Stay up-to-date on warnings and weather updates through local radio or television.
Secure anything that could blow away or cause damage.
Secure windows with shutters if they have them. If not, criss-cross tape across the glass to hold it in place if it shatters.
Move pets and animals to a safe shelter.
Move vehicles under cover and secure any boats. If possible, relocate any exposed business stock to a sheltered area and secure well.
Fill bathtubs, buckets and any other large containers with water in case the supply is damaged. Make sure you have water purification tablets to keep drinking water safe.
Withdraw a decent amount of cash for food, petrol and water in the case the power is disconnected and ATM’s unavailable.
Once the cyclone has hit, depending on whether an evacuation order is made, you should either shelter in your business or home or proceed with your evacuation plan.
- Turn off electricity, gas and water, unplug all appliances.
Shelter in the centre of the house or business premises, or the most sturdy area. If the property or home begins to break up, shelter under a solid table or mattress.
If driving, park your car in an area clear of trees, waterways and power lines and stay inside the car. Even better, seek shelter in any available undercover carparks that may be nearby.
Be aware that the eye of the storm will bring a lull in the winds. Do not venture outside, stay inside until you hear official advice that it has passed.
If you have been told to evacuate, seek shelter inland or on higher ground.
Once the Cyclone Has Moved On
Even once a cyclone has passed, you may still face a number of risks, and in fact this time can be just as dangerous.
- Listen to community radio and television for updates on road and weather conditions and if you have been evacuated, for advice on when it is safe to return.
Check your property for damage.
Avoid flooded areas, fallen power lines or trees and damaged buildings.
Keep kids safe and away from flooded waterways and drains.
Be careful of using electronic appliances if water damage is present.
Do not use any water that may have been contaminated to wash dishes, prepare food or bathe in, use water purification tablets for drinking water.
Contact your insurer if you need to lodge a claim. If you are unsure and need assistance and advice, contact your insurance broker.
http://www.emergency.qld.gov.au/emq/css/cyclone.asp#before – for useful tips and advice
** sourced from www.knowrisk.com.au