While most would agree we are lucky to enjoy such am enjoyable year-round climate. However, living in the Capricorn Coast tropical environment does come with the necessity to be prepared. Over summer it storms and sometimes flood, and then cyclone season. As storms are unpredictable and can stick at any time it is important to always be prepared.
Below are the top tips to ensure you, your family and property stay safe this summer;
Establish an Emergency Plan
- Involve the whole household, plan and discuss what needs to be done in preparation and what do it during and emergency, such as:
- What impact would a severe storm, large down pour or cyclone have on you and your home?
- How to exit the property safely?
- Where could you evacuate to?
- How to stay in contact if you’re separated?
- Do you or your family have medical conditions or special needs? And how can they be assisted?
- How will your pets be effected? And how to keep them safe?
- What do you need in your emergency kit and where will it be located?
- Whether your insurance is adequate and current
- Review your Emergency Plan regularly to stay familiar with what to do in the event of a server storm, flood or cyclone.
- Get to know your neighbours and discuss emergency action plans.
Create your Home Emergency Kit
- An Emergency Kit simply contains essential items that your household may need during and after a severe storm and for at least 3 days to follow, in case essential services such as power, water, shops are unavailable or you become isolated.
These are some of the most common and basic items to include in your Home Emergency Kit:
- Your Home Emergency Plan, including emergency contact numbers
- Portable radio (with batteries)
- Torch (with batteries)
- First Aid kit
- Important documents and cash in waterproof bags
- Essential medication
- Special items for babies, the disabled, elderly or pets
- Drinking water and non-perishable food for three days
Other items to keep handy (you may like to add to your kit)
- Sizable eski, ready to transfer some of the contents of your fridge / freezer
- Tropical strength personal repellent
- Matches or lighter
- Change of clothing and shoes
- Pillows, sleeping bags and blankets
- Camping stove or gas burner with gas
- Valuables, photos and mementos in waterproof bags
- Books and games for children
Remember to keep your Emergency Kit in a waterproof container, and store in a safe, easy to access spot.
Ensure all members of the house hold know where it is.
Check your Home Emergency Kit regularly and replace out-of-date items.
- Prepare you and your home
- There are simple things you can do to minimize the impact on you, your home and surrounding property, as shown in the following emergency planning checklist:
- Keep on top of general home maintenance
- Check your roof regularly
- Keep gutters, downpipes and drains clear
- Remove tree branches close to your home
- Secure loose items around your property
- Review your home, contents and car insurance to make sure it is adequate and current
- Identify the safest room in which to shelter during a storm or cyclone
- Know how to safely turn off your power, water and gas
- Store poisons and garden chemicals well above potential flood levels
- Identify indoor items you’ll need to raise or empty if flood threatens
- Relocate power points well above potential flood levels
- If it’s been a while or you are just not sure, engage a professional builder to assess the structural integrity of your house
- Ensure cars are full of fuel
- Ensure mobile phones are charged
- Keep a couple of frozen water bottles in your freezer, in case ice is not available
- Keep cash on hand
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP:
Do not use portable generators in enclosed spaces. They produce carbon monoxide – a colourless and odourless gas that can cause incapacitation or death.
- Tune into warnings
- To your local radio or TV station for storm warnings and weather updates
- To the Bureau of Meteorology for storm alerts
- To the Queensland Disaster Management website
- To your local council's website
- For the Standard Emergency Warning Signal (SEWS) – this is the siren used at the beginning of storm warning announcements on radio and TV
- For Emergency Alert messages on your landline and mobile phone
- For warning sirens and announcements made by emergency services
- For emergency services personnel who may knock on your door
- Act quickly on advice given by emergency services
- Ensure that every household member knows about warnings and advice
- Check on neighbours and friends who may need special assistance
- Shelter any pets or farm animals
- Secure outdoor furniture and gardening items
- Park vehicles under cover
- Disconnect electrical items and turn off power, water and gas if instructed
- Activate your Home Emergency Plan and get your Home Emergency Kit
- Take shelter in the safest room in your house or evacuate as required
The time after a serious weather event can be the most stressful. Stay prepared and work together with your local community to recover.
Help neighbours, it might be as simple as lending and ear, working together to clean up, looking after children or sharing a meal together or resources.
Use resources carefully, such as conserve fuel, use most perishable food first etc.
The team @ Real Estate hopes you and your family enjoy the summer holidays and stay safe this storm season.
Written By Natalie Gesler
@ Real Estate Yeppoon