Saturday, August 27, 2011

Battening Down The Hatches - Prepare Your Storm Plan

Australians are no stranger to rough weather. With recent disasters affecting many northern cities and townships it is a good idea to have an action plan in place should a storm or other potentially disastrous weather phenomenon approach your locality.

On the bright side, we usually get some warning that rough conditions are approaching and this means if you have a plan in place, you will likely have time to execute most of it and ensure everyone and everything is taken care of. Regardless of your plan, make sure you have your home and contents insured and check your policy carefully to ensure it covers any weather patterns that are prominent in your area -- or any that have hit nearby areas.

So where do you get started in your disaster plan?

1. The House

Your first priority is obviously your family, but once they are all safe and accounted for, making sure you all have a place to live is your next action. Research strategies to prepare your home for the type of weather or natural disaster that is coming your way. For example:

  • Remove all leaves from gutters and flood the gutters with water if a fire is approaching.
  • For severe storms, tend to all your windows.
  • Reinforce them with cardboard to help keep them from breaking.

2. The backyard

Ensure your backyard is surrounded by strong and stable fencing, a fencing contractor will be able to advice what is best. If a storm is approaching, and you have time, remove anything unstable from the backyard and store in the garage, such as trampolines, and kid's plastic play equipment. Tie back all shrubs and plants to a stake or something stable so they aren't ripped out.

3. Pool

Your pool is going to be a mess if not properly prepared. The best thing you can do is head to your pool supplies store and buy yourself a cover to have at the ready. While the cover may be full of leaves and debris following a big storm, your water will remain clean, and maintenance is simply collecting the leaves in a bag and getting rid of them. This means you then don't need to worry about draining the water and starting again with fresh water and new chemicals.

4. Supplies

Ensure you always have some supplies on hand, should services be shut off, or you are segregated from points of supply. Clean water, candles and a first aid kit are a must. Also look at getting some basic food supplies that can last a few days.

Another must is reserves of prescription medication. Ensuring a supply of medications for illnesses such as diabetes and asthma is vital, as it could be these, rather than the weather, that result in a life or death situation.

5. Pets

Don't forget the pets! In really rough weather conditions consider bringing them inside and shutting them in the laundry. They should be safe there and can't do too much damage.


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