Storms occur Australia-wide and are notorious for causing severe damage to homes and their contents, along with business interruption and fatalities.
It’s essential to prepare before a storm strikes and safeguard your home from lightning, heavy rain, hail and strong winds. Take these precautions to protect your family and reduce the risk to your assets.
The most powerful storms usually occur from September to March. These severe weather events can produce heavy rain, flash flooding, thunder, lightning, strong winds of over 90km/h, hailstones of at least 2cm in diameter, and cyclones.
Storms that hit our northern regions have different characteristics to those typical in central and southern Australia. For example, excessive lightning is common in the tropics; southern areas often experience huge downpours and flash flooding, while low-lying coastal areas are prone to hailstorms.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) reports the storm that hit Sydney’s eastern suburbs in April, 1999 remains Australia’s most costly natural disaster, in terms of insurance claims that followed. The BOM has estimated that $1.5 billion in damages were caused within an hour.
All state-based emergency services advise having a safety plan that your family can act upon, as soon as a severe storm warning is issued. The NSW State Emergency Service provides a useful online tool for tailoring a storm safety plan for your household.
The following provides helpful storm preparation tips:
The Bureau of Meteorology issues severe thunderstorm warnings to media outlets, at www.bom.gov.au or call 1900 926 113 (nationally). For further help on how to cope with storms visit DFES: Prepare for a storm.
Regardless of whether you own or rent, up-to-date home and contents insurance that covers weather events common in your area is essential. In the event you need to make a claim, don’t worry about paperwork. All we need is your name and phone number.
This article is intended as a general guide only. You should consult your state emergency services for further information.
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