Queensland’s regular storm season runs from October to March, but every year there are some caught unawares when severe thunderstorms roll from the inland regions to the coast.
Here are four steps you can take to keep safe:
Step one: Prepare an emergency plan in advance of the storm season. Designate a safe room in your home that is structurally strong and window-free, designate an area to meet if you have to evacuate your home separately, keep a list of emergency contact numbers, make plans for family members with special needs, and make sure to plan for your pets too.
Step two: Prepare an emergency kit. The kit should be stored in a waterproof container, checked every three months, and sustain your family for up to three days. Include: fresh water, non-perishable food, a can opener, first-aid kit, portable radio, torch, sturdy gloves, spare batteries, essential medication, mobile phone and charger, important documents and cash in sealed bags, toiletries, waterproof bags, and formula or pet food if necessary.
If you live in a high-risk area, you will also need an evacuation kit, which includes: blankets, sleeping bags, entertainment for kids, pillows, warm clothes, valuables/mementos, essential medication, mobile phone and charger, important documents and cash in sealed bags, and toiletries.
Step three: Prepare your home for storm season. Keep your roof/gutters free from debris, trim trees and overhanging branches, check your home for corrosion and loose fittings, and secure any outdoor items. Also ensure your home, contents and car insurance are adequate; identify how to turn off water, power and gas supplies; keep water containers, spare fuel and a camp stove on hand.
Step four: Tune into warnings (tune in, log on, listen out, and act). Tune in to your local radio or TV station for updates; Log on to the Bureau of Meteorology, Queensland Disaster Management, or your local council for information; Listen out for the Standard Emergency Warning Signal, sirens, emergency voice messages or texts; Act quickly on the advice provided, implementing your emergency plan or evacuation plan if necessary.
Originally published via The Brisbane Times.