Thanks to our awesome trainer and SES volunteer, Donald, I now have a “Get Ready Guide” from Queensland Fire and Emergency Services. While I have gone over bushfires, there are three other likely natural disasters that I failed to think of.

Today’s topic: Thunderstorms.

With thunderstorms comes a variety of potential dangers. They can create damaging wind, hail, lightning, and heavy rainfall. We’re coming up on storm season (November – April) so remember to check the weather forecasts and warning frequently at http://www.bom.gov.au/qld/. They also have an app you can download.

You need to make appropriate precautions if a severe storm is expected to hit your area.

  • Make sure your Emergency Plan is up-to-date and everyone in the home knows what to do in case a storm hits.
  • Make sure you r Emergency Kit is fully stocked.
    • This should include a battery or manually powered radio.
  • Make sure your Insurance is up-to-date and check coverage to your home and belongs in case of a severe storm.
  • Keep your Yard clean of debris and other loose yard items (furniture, tools, etc).
    • This includes overhanging tree branches.
  • Ensure your Roof and Gutters are clean and in good condition.
  • Shelter or cover Vehicles.

When a severe storm warning is issued:

  • Keep updated.
  • Inform friends, family, and neighbours of the warning.
  • Shelter and secure your animals.
  • Secure outdoor furniture and gardening items.
  • Move vehicles under shelter or securely cover with tarps/blankets.
  • Disconnect all electrical items, aerials, and computer modems.

During the storm:

  • Keep updated with your radio.
  • Act on your Emergency Plan.
  • Stay inside and away from windows, doors, and skylights.
    • Staying at/in the strongest point of your house is your best option:
      • Cellar
      • Internal room
      • Hallway
      • Built-in wardrobe
    • If you are outside, find solid, enclosed shelter
    • If you are driving, pull over in an open area clear of trees, powerlines, and streams.

You should also note that severe storms can also cause flash floods, which I’ll talk more about on Thursday.

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