It’s safe to say we all love this time of year, the lead up to long summer days. The days get warmer, our barbeques and deck chairs are displayed in all their glory and we spend more time driving up and down the coast. Something else that’s synonymous with the summer months however, are wild storms.

September through to March sees an increase in cyclones, storms and heavy rain throughout Queensland. We have already seen some severe weather in south-east Queensland but with more storms forecast in the coming months, there’s still time to safely prepare for the worst.

Without El Niño or La Niña in full effect, the Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting a typical storm season with tropical cyclones from January to March and increased thunderstorms between October and December.

Before we get caught off guard, it’s best to make the most of periods of milder weather to plan ahead.

Monitor Overhanging Trees and Gutters

We take pride in our leafy streets and native flora in Brisbane but any tree within close proximity to a powerline presents a significant risk for power interruptions, electrocution from fallen powerlines and electrical fires.

Excess foliage and debris from overhanging branches can also clog up gutters and downpipes, increasing the risk of damage caused by electrical fires.

Before fancying yourself as a DIY specialist, beware of the dangers involved and call a professional arborist first. If you happen to live near a river or a waterway or in an urban area with large trees, your vegetation might be Heritage listed or protected under Brisbane City Council law.

By consulting an arborist you can avoid a fine and a hospital bill. Gardeners and home renovators should also be aware of what species of trees their planting and how their roots and branches might interfere with powerlines.

Secure Items in Backyard

PREPARING FOR STORM SEASON-1

Bicycles, tools and outdoor furniture can turn into deadly weapons as soon as a storm picks up. It’s not uncommon for loose items around the house to be hurled into the air and cause damage to you or your neighbour’s house during storms or worse still, endanger any residents or bystanders.

Anything metallic that’s possible of conducting electricity is especially a hazard when a powerline goes down. If this happens, never go near a fallen powerline and call Energex’s emergency line immediately – 13 19 62.

Keeping your lawn and backyard tidy should be a priority for anyone keen on entertaining their friends and family outdoors but it’s more important than ever during storm season to ensure all loose items are safely stored inside or in a secure shed.

Shades, sails and awnings should also be fitted properly and regularly checked for structural integrity.

Listen Out and get Kitted Out

Only 10% of Queenslanders have a storm emergency kit at home, according to a NRMA study of 493 Queensland households. The Queensland Government recommends preparing an emergency kit comprising of:

  • A portable radio
  • A torch
  • Spare batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Non-perishable food
  • Sturdy gloves
  • Waterproof bags
  • Candles
  • Matches
  • Essential medications
  • Copies of important documents (eg insurance details, birth certificates, prescription refills) in sealable plastic bags.

Keep your emergency kit stored in a waterproof box in an accessible area and check it regularly for out-of-date items. You can prepare your own emergency and evacuation kit online or watch a video.

PREPARING FOR STORM SEASON-2

By keeping an eye and an ear on a range of media and government websites, you can be well-informed and sure of the accuracy on weather reports. Do not always trust the first source of information you hear or see.

All Brisbane residents registered to the Early Warning Alert service will be notified by email or with an optional SMS or landline message in the event of severe weather. Otherwise, the following media should be monitored:

Keeping a list of emergency contacts is also advisable as well as preparing for a storm surge by having all household members practice an evacuation drill.

It’s important to enjoy your summer months while still being mindful of the dangers of storm season. Test yourself – how well does your Disaster Readiness Index rate?

 

Get in touch today with Brisbane Tree Experts for your “Storm Ready” advice. Call 1300 043 740 or contact us here. Brisbane Tree Experts have been trusted for over 30 years by the people of Brisbane’s tree maintenance and removal.

Images courtesy of Burning Image, Jaypeg21, mr_billiam and Tatters:)