Preparing your home
While we can’t control the weather, there are things you can do to help reduce potential damage.
- Check your home is built to cyclone standards with your local council
- Secure loose roof tiles and guttering
- Trim trees and branches near your home
- Make sure all shutters and metal screens are secure
- Clear loose material around your home such as ladders, lawnmowers, bikes and children’s toys
- Prepare an Essential Emergency Kit.
When a cyclone warning is issued:
- Listen to your local radio for updates and instructions
- Wear protective clothing and make sure you re-check around your home for loose material
- Get your emergency kit and ensure everyone knows where the strongest part of the home is
- If instructed by officials, you may need to collect your children from school
- Make sure you bring in pets from outside
- Turn off electricity and gas at the mains
- Advise neighbours of the cyclone warning
- Fill baths, sinks and buckets with water
- Close windows and doors securely.
During a severe tropical cyclone
Find the best shelter, such as a stairwell or a room with walls reinforced with pipes on the lowest floor of the building. Stay clear of windows and glass doors. Listen to the local radio for alerts of high winds or a tornado and disconnect all appliances.
If the building starts to break up, protect yourself with a rug, blanket, mattress or shelter under a bench or table.
If you’re outside, find cover away from the wind and protect your head. If you’re inside a vehicle, keep your face away from windows and make sure you have the hand brake on. You should also park away from trees and power lines.
If you need to evacuate
- Make sure you act immediately and find a public shelter that is inland or on higher ground. Lock doors and windows on the way out
- Wear protective clothing and strong footwear
- Take your emergency kit with you
- If you can’t take your pets, make sure they’re in a safe place inside the property with food and water (don’t tie them up).
After the cyclone
Always wait for the all clear from emergency services and don’t assume the danger has passed – as you may in fact be in the eye of a tropical cyclone. If you have evacuated your property, don’t return until you have an official all clear.
When returning to your home:
- Check for any gas leaks
- Don’t use any electrical equipment if wet
- Boil or purify water with tablets and check with authorities if water has been declared safe
- Stay clear of damaged power lines, trees and floodwater.
Check your insurance
Make sure your home and contents insurance is up-to-date and the sum insured amount is enough to cover natural disasters. And make sure you have your insurer’s details in your emergency kit, so you can contact them in a hurry if you need to.