The Road Ahead : December 2014
QUEENSLAND'S LARGEST CLUB 9 DEC 2014/JAN 2015 THE ROAD AHEAD So how do you 'Get Ready' for the summer storm season? The key message is to understand your risk and prepare accordingly, Mr Contarini said. The State Government has created the Get Ready Queensland website (getready.qld.gov.au) with information, resources and links to help. Essentially, there are four steps to take to be storm and flood prepared this summer. STEP ONE: Prepare an emergency plan. Ask yourself this question -- if you were isolated by a disaster right now, would you be ready? If the answer is no, then you need to develop an emergency plan to ensure everyone knows exactly what to do if the worst happens. When creating an emergency plan, decide where you would go if you had to evacuate and how you would stay in touch with loved ones if separated. WHEN IT COMES to preparing their homes for storms, RACQ Insurance research showed only 22 percent of Queenslanders checked their roof, 21 percent prepared an emergency kit, 28 percent removed items such as leaves and debris, and 37 percent cleaned gutters and downpipes. The research also indicated less than one third (28 percent) of householders had checked their home building and contents insurance, and almost half (42 percent) admitted to making no preparations for the storm season. While storms can't be prevented, householders can safeguard people and property by: • Checking their home building and contents insurance sums insured; • Checking gutters and downpipes. Clogged gutters can send water flowing into your home during heavy rain; • Checking the roof for damaged or loose tiles and sheeting. A roof in good repair is more likely to withstand high winds and keep water out; • Trim overgrown tree branches. Check with your local council if unsure about which trees/branches you can cut. DO NOT attempt to trim trees near power lines; • Remove or secure loose items around the garden that could become projectiles during high winds; • Have an emergency kit that includes a battery-operated radio to listen to warnings and emergency services advice, a reliable torch and spare batteries, canned food, can opener, water, first-aid kit and blankets; • Join an Early Warning Alert Service through your local council or www.ewn.com.au; • Identify a shelter room in your house. STEP TWO: Prepare emergency and evacuation kits. When a severe storm hits, power and water supply can be affected. It may be several days before emergency services can restore either, so the kit needs to include supplies to last at least three days. Keep your kit in a sturdy, easy-to-carry bag or waterproof storage box and store it in a safe, easily accessible place. What to keep in your emergency kit: • Important documents in sealed bags or scanned to a USB; • Torch; • Baby formula and nappies (if you have an infant); • Sturdy gloves; • Fresh water for three days; • Toiletries; • Waterproof bags; • Portable radio; • Three days’ worth of non-perishable food and a can opener; • Essential medication; • First aid kit; • Spare batteries for radio, torch and mobile phone; and • A small amount of cash and any valuables and mementos. STEP THREE: Prepare your home. Regular home maintenance is the best way to avoid damage to your property, but in severe weather it is necessary to take extra measures. Ensure you know where the water, electricity and gas mains are located, stock up on water storage containers, ensure your home and contents insurance is current and adequate, and identify the strongest room in which to shelter during a severe storm or cyclone. STEP FOUR: Tune in to warnings. Information is the key to making good decisions in a disaster. Load your local stations into the radio's memory and know the best sites to watch on the internet, including the Bureau of Meteorology (bom.gov.au), Queensland Disasters and Alerts (qld.gov.au/ disaster) and your local council website (qldcouncils.com.au). * RACQ Insurance Storm Preparedness Index research Supporting the Get Ready program is our way of proactively delivering the message to be prepared ...
February March 2015