Danger from storms comes from wind, heavy or continuous rain, lightning, flying debris, hail, fallen powerlines and loss of power.
Under certain storm conditions people may experience breathing difficulties due to pollen in the air. For more information about thunderstorm asthma and how to protect yourself visit Thunderstorm asthma — Better Health Channel webpage.
Before a storm
Here’s how you can prepare your property:
- Maintain your roof - clean gutters, spouting and downpipes regularly, fix loose tiles, roofing iron and ridge capping. This can prevent water collecting in your roof and causing it to collapse.
- Trim or remove tree branches overhanging your home.
- Inspect and fix fences.
- Bring inside or tie down any loose items in your yard.
- Ensure everyone knows where, how and when to turn off the mains power, water and gas in case of emergency and evacuation.
- Talk to your neighbours, family and friends to see what their plans are and talk about how you can help each other.
During a storm
- Avoid driving if possible. If you must drive, take extreme care. Beware of fallen trees and power lines.
- Lightning can kill - if outside seek shelter but never seek shelter under a tree.
- Monitor conditions using a variety of the communications methods. Remember that electricity, phone and internet may not be available in a large storm so keep a battery or wind-up powered radio in your house.
- Put vehicles under solid cover well away from trees, power lines and waterways.
- Stay indoors and bring pets inside.
After a storm
- Avoid driving through affected areas.
- After a storm contact your insurance company immediately and take photos of any damage.
- If damage has caused the power to go out, it can be dangerous to turn it back on until it can be checked by a licensed electrician. If powerlines are damaged, contact your electricity distributor.
- Be aware of road hazards, such as floodwater, debris and damaged roads or bridges.
For more information, download Are You Prepared — Storms.