Be Prepared - Get Ready

Prepare Your Home

The best time to prepare your home is before an event.  Taking steps now to secure and protect your property can improve the safety of your home.  Here are a range of suggested tasks to assist you in preparing your home and property to minimise potential damage:

General home maintenance

  • Check the condition of the roof and arrange for the repair of loose tiles, eaves and roof screws.
  • Clean gutters and downpipes so water can drain away as quickly as possible.
  • Trim trees and overhanging branches.
  • Secure loose items around your property and garden that could cause damage if blown around in high winds (such as garden furniture and toys).

General home preparations

  • Ensure your home, contents and car insurance is current and provides adequate cover – check your policy includes debris clean up and disposal costs.  The Insurance Council of Australia can provide information to determine if your policy is appropriate for your circumstances. You need to understand what is covered by your policy and what is not.
  • Identify which room is the safest part of the house, in case you need to shelter at home during severe storm or cyclone (usually this is the smallest room with the least windows such as the bathroom or laundry).
  • Identify where and how to turn off mains supply for water, power and gas.
  • Purchase emergency essentials to have on hand, such as:
    • containers to store drinking water supplies.
    • spare supply of fuel for use in your vehicle (ensure you store safely)
    • wide masking tape for windows
  • Ensure your house number is clearly displayed so that Emergency Service crews can find you.
  • Have a supply of plastic shopping bags or sandbags to fill with sand for emergency storm water diversion.  Sand for sandbagging can be obtained by contacting SES on 132 500.

When warnings are issued

  • Listen for updates on the event and take notice of further warnings and safety messages.
  • Disconnect electrical appliances and all external TV/radio aerials.
  • Turn off electricity and gas main supplies if instructed by authorities.
  • Place outdoor furniture inside or, if you have a swimming pool, submerge plastic outdoor furniture under the water to prevent it flying around in high winds.
  • Fill buckets and bath with clean water in case the water supply becomes restricted.
  • Close windows with shutters or tape windows without shutters in a criss-crossing pattern using strong packing tape and draw curtains.
  • Move wheelie bins inside or fill with water.
  • Park vehicles under cover and secure with firmly tied tarpaulins and blankets.
  • Have your Emergency Kit and Evacuation Kit ready.

Additional resources