Freak storms may provide a spectacle in our skies, but they’re also dangerous events that can catch you off guard. If you’ve recently settled in a region prone to storm risk or flown the nest and set up home on your own, are you prepared for what a storm could bring?
One recent storm delivered a month’s worth of rain in 30 minutes and let’s not forget that storms frequently bring blackouts too. If you’re new to storm planning, settle down as we take you through the basics.
Are You Prepared for Stormy Skies?
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1. Secure the perimeter
You don’t always get a lot of warning when a storm lands, which is why it pays to be prepared all year round. Keep on top of routine maintenance jobs like fence, guttering and roof repair, along with keeping trees close to your home trimmed and supported. To help you get things moved inside or secured swiftly, keep a checklist of what needs attention and grab it when you know a storm is coming.
Never put yourself in danger while working through the list, plus always prioritize safety over valuables. Your list should include:
- Moving pets and animals to a safe space
- Consider equipment, tools, and vehicles that need to be moved
- Checking in on neighbours
- Letting people know where you are
- Shutting down any hatches
- Moving to the strongest part of your home and ensuring there’s something to shelter under such as a mattress or strong table
2. Backup power
Disconnecting your electricals is the only way to ensure they won’t be damaged by a potential power surge during a storm. With this in mind, investing in a generator Adelaide will allow you to run the essentials and also give you a backup should a blackout occur.
Blackouts are more likely during hotter periods when people take cover indoors to hide from the heat, but they’re a frequent occurrence in stormy areas.
Prioritize what you want to keep running and think about keeping communications lines open too. Having a battery-powered radio on hand will allow you to keep up with what’s going onside and hopefully ensure you don’t venture outside before the eye of the storm has passed.
3. Have a supply stash
Having a stash of supplies to keep you going during a storm is an absolute must. Pack a box of foods that doesn’t require chilling or cooking such as tinned fruit, vegetables and proteins, packets of nuts, seeds and cereals, UHT milk and packets of biscuits. It’s always wise to have some bottles of water too, and the expert advice is to fill buckets and your bath with water and to make sure you have plenty of water purification tablets just in case your water supply gets cut off.
Think about supplies you’ll need for any pets you’ll have with you and if you can’t keep animals with you, leave them with plenty of food and water and don’t tie them up. If you have a baby in your midst, be sure you have any specialist items they need such as nappies and don’t forget to bring a supply of essential medications and basic personal hygiene items.
Providing each member of the family with a whistle can also provide peace of mind. Think about keeping copies of documents and ID you may need after the storm such as your insurance details. Check out this emergency kit list from the Australian government for further guidance.
4. Calm the kids
Storms can be unsettling and scary times for everyone, and for the younger members of the household, in particular, they can prove incredibly frightening. Practicing your emergency plan will help kids to feel calmer when and if a storm arrives. Talk to children about what you’ll do, run through the different steps. You may even want to ‘camp’ in your safe place overnight to help kids feel more at ease. It’s also a good idea to educate little ones about the dangers of storms. These videos from the State Emergency Services are a good way to introduce the topic in order to help children feel better prepared.
Of course, it’s not all about planning for the storm itself. It’s also wise to know what you’ll do after the storm. Think about how you’ll survey for damage safely, ensure you stay away from any waterways and get in touch with the services whenever you’re in need of assistance. If you are caught in a storm, hopefully it will pass quickly and thanks to your careful planning, you’ll be able to sit it out as safely as possible.