In summer, Australia can be a place of weather extremes – from scorching heat to monsoonal rain.
Whether fire, flood, lightning or hail, we need to prepare ourselves and our homes for these weather events.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Know your local climate and weak spots
When buying or building a new home, you should always do your due diligence when it comes to natural risks. For example, you should be aware before buying a property if it’s in a high danger zone for floods or bushfires.
However, even areas with less obvious risks are still at the mercy of Mother Nature. For instance, you might be in an area or position that experiences high winds or drought. Perhaps your particular inner city street has an issue with flooding in rare periods of heavy rain. Alternatively, your home may just have a few weak spots that need addressing.
With weather events becoming increasingly extreme, people further from immediate risk areas still have to be prepared.
Keep your home well-maintained
If your gutters are hanging on by a thread or there are massive holes in your roof, you’re not in a great position to weather a storm. So consider fixing any maintenance issues ASAP to give your home a fighting chance when poor weather hits.
Here are a few maintenance jobs to help secure your home against extreme weather:
- Have your roof inspected every five years and patch any holes, leaks or loose roofing.
- Clean your roof and gutters of debris.
- Make sure everything around your home is secure, from window frames to awnings, gutters, trees and more.
- Fill any gaps. Caulk around your doors and windows to ensure your home is leak-proof.
- Test and update your smoke alarms
- Clean and clear out any excess items under your home, in your ceiling or around your house.
- Keep pathways, entry and exit routes clear (should emergency crews need access to your home).
Stock-up for weather emergencies
Once the home maintenance is taken care of, consider items you may want to keep handy or add to your shopping list. Here are some items to consider in any event:
Depending on your home and area of risk, you may want to stock up on sandbags if a flood is predicted.
Have a working hose and connection so you’re ready to spray down your roof or fill your gutters.
Depending on your area and budget, you may also want to invest in sprinkler systems or water tanks.
If you don’t have undercover parking for your cars, know what to do if a hail event is predicted. For instance, have a car cover and pad it with blankets and bedding.
You may also need support materials to help reinforce windows or doors.
Generally speaking, regardless of the weather event, it can help to have general items like tarpaulin, battery-operated torches and other power devices (like chargers), fire blankets and extinguishers within easy reach.
Finally, consider easy access to your car and house keys – if you’re a person who often loses their keys because they don’t live in one spot, it might be a good time to invest in a bowl, hook or other system to help you keep track of them!
Check your insurance
If you haven’t reviewed your insurance in a while, it could be time for a check-up. This is especially true if you’ve made any alterations to your home or have made any massive purchases you want to include in your cover.
If you’ve done either of the above, first alert your insurance company to any renovations or updates to your home to ensure they’re covered by your building insurance. While you’re there, update your contents insurance to guarantee the amount insured will cover you in the event of an emergency.
Finally, review the finer print of your coverage when it comes to extreme weather events and natural disasters. Each policy differs and some provide broader coverage than others.
CommInsure, for instance, prides itself on a broad range of coverage options, which can include coverage for some events arising from earthquake, lightning, fire, flood or storm damage, plus features like emergency repairs, temporary accommodation and damage caused by emergency services. It also offers 25% gap cover, meaning that if any costs to repair or rebuild that exceeds the insurance amount, it can be covered by up to 25%. CommInsure offers a broad range of cover options. You can learn more by visiting the website.
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