Battening down the hatches: Can your home weather the storm season?

Jarrod Brown
By Jarrod Brown
5 Min Read

With another storm season upon us, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get our homes ready to face Australia’s wet and wild weather.

Between November and March, Australia becomes a battleground for Mother Nature’s epic clashes, from thunderous storms to rain that hits like a drum solo. 

According to a survey from Budget Direct, the last five storm seasons alone have cost Aussies over $20 billion in repairs, with almost 30 per cent saying they didn’t have an action plan to combat heavy rain or flooding.

But fear not; there are steps you can take to turn your home into a fortress that can weather the chaotic summer elements. 

Trim and tidy your yard

The first line of defence begins in your backyard. Trim trees and shrubs to eliminate potential projectiles during a storm. It’s not just about aesthetics; it’s a proactive step to prevent branches from wreaking havoc on your roof or car. Dispose of the green debris responsibly in your garden waste recycling bin.

Keep your gutters clean, clear, and clog-free

Blockages in gutters, downpipes, and drains can turn a routine storm into a waterlogged nightmare. Regularly clear these vital pathways to prevent rainwater overflow that can lead to roof leaks and water damage.

Inspect and repair your roof

A storm-ready home starts from the top down. Regularly check your roof for signs of wear and tear, from broken tiles to cracked sheets. Moisture is your enemy, so keep an eye out for mould, grime, and algae. Address minor issues before they become major headaches down the line.

Fortify Fences

Your fence is more than a boundary; it’s a shield. Ensure it’s up to the task by checking for holes, rust, and unstable posts. Avoid leaning heavy objects against it, and cut back any plants or trees that might use it as a crutch during a storm.

Secure the outdoors

Before the storm arrives, conduct a sweep of your property for loose objects. Furniture, play equipment, and anything that could transform into a projectile should be stored indoors or securely tied down.

Prepare for power outages

Storms often bring power outages in their wake. Stay ahead of the curve by assembling an emergency kit. Include essentials like a flashlight with spare batteries, a first aid kit, and a power bank to keep your devices charged.

Review insurance policies

Don’t wait for the storm clouds to gather – review your home and contents insurance policy now. Ensure you have adequate coverage so that you’re not left picking up the pieces when the storm subsides.

A picture is worth a thousand words, especially when it comes to insurance claims. Capture the interior and exterior of your home and car in photos before the storm season hits.

What to do during the storm

See a storm coming your way? Here’s what you should do before it hits. 

Bring your pets indoors

If your furry friends usually brave the outdoors, create a safe haven for them inside – be it a laundry, toilet, or garage.

Shelter your ride

If possible, move your car under cover to shield it from potential damage caused by falling branches.

Check doors and windows

Ensure all external doors and windows are securely closed to minimize potential damage.

When the storm hits, hunker down indoors. Keep a vigilant eye on electrical appliances, unplug them during lightning or power outages, and, if flooding is a concern, relocate them to higher ground.

Assessing the damage after the storm

Once the storm has passed, cautiously venture outside to assess the aftermath. Document any damage with photographs, as these could be vital for insurance claims. 

Resist the urge to undertake repairs yourself to avoid potential complications with your insurance coverage.

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Jarrod Brown combines his background in journalism, copywriting and digital marketing with a lifelong passion for storytelling. He has a strong passion for new and emerging consumer technology within the building sector. He lives on the Sunshine Coast - usually found glued to the deck of a surfboard.