The storm season officially lasts through to March but they can happen any time of year, so if you’re not properly prepared at home, there’s still time to make sure you have a plan in place.
“Last storm season, NSW SES volunteers responded to more than 19,000 storm-related calls for assistance, but many of these could have been prevented if residents were better prepared and had an emergency plan in place,” says NSW SES Acting Commissioner Greg Newton.
“Safety measures like preparing your home and an emergency kit, as well as an evacuation plan are incredibly effective.”
Start by securing or storing items that could blow around in strong winds such as outdoor furniture, trampolines and roofing iron, which can cause damage to windows, roofs and cars.
It’s important to keep your gutters and downpipes clear as blockages can cause water to flow under the eaves and into the roof.
If you live in or near the bush, have trees and shrubs within 20m of your house and live in an area with a bushfire history, it’s likely you’re at risk of bushfire. So ensure your home is prepared by cutting long grass and dense scrub, removing dead material and rubbish, and regularly remove any material that may catch fire.
The SES also recommends trimming trees and branches that could potentially fall on your home or property but their website warns to check council restrictions before going ahead with any tree lopping.
“Remember, your safety is important so contact a qualified (and insured) arborist or tree surgeon for advice if necessary,” the SES Stormsafe website says
“Have a qualified arborist inspect trees every two to three years to identify any problems.”