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How to protect your home against wild summer weather

By Andrew Bell

If you have bought a home on the Gold Coast, you should know that it's not just the winter months that can wreak havoc on the region. Summer can bring a flux of odd weather and it is important to know how to prepare your home.

Mayor of the city of the Gold Coast, Tom Tate has put forward a Get Ready education campaign to try and prepare Queensland residents for storms this summer. The Bureau of Meterology has warned people living on the Gold Coast of an increase in storms this summer and together with the mayor are making people aware and teaching them how to prepare. Take these handy tips on board when preparing for a stormy day.

Make sure you have an evacuation plan 

In order to account for your family and pets, make an emergency evacuation plan. Each family member should have a partner to account for and humans must always be the first priority. Buddy up and then consider who will grab the pets if you have any. Remember that pets tend to scatter in severe weather, so if you know that a storm is approaching and that you might have to evacuate, try and keep them in a easily accessible spot in the house, where they cannot escape.

Write out an emergency contact list and keep a paper copy as well as a list on your cell phone. You never know what will happen to your phone and you might have to use a different one to contact people – hence the physical copy of the list.

Local businesses are here to help

A number of stores are spreading the word about this Get Ready campaign and are making it a priority to prepare emergency kits for residents. They will encourage and point out what the best equipment to buy like torches, batteries, first aid kits and water-proof containers for important documents just to name a few. Many people leave it to the last minute or until there is an official storm warning. However, it is key not to rush out for the items, as you may get stuck in the crowd. Take your time, get prepared and have an emergency kit ready and waiting.

How to prepare the exterior of your home

Make sure you have home contents insurance insurance and then you can start thinking about the following. When preparing the exterior of your home for a storm, you need to understand the layout and what the most vulnerable parts of the house are. Obviously windows are easily broken so if you are in the process of renovating, double glazed windows can make the windows stronger and can help protect you and your family. An alternative option is to build your own wooden boards and place them on the outside of the windows if a storm is approaching.

If you live in an apartment then you can talk to the building manager about what they are going to do to prepare for severe weather.

Tick off the following;

  • Check the roof in case the chimney looks unstable
  • Check the gutters and make sure they won't get clogged up, should there be a lot of debris
  • Remove branches or anything that might fall down and cause a lot of damage to the exterior of your home
  • Lock patio furniture in a shed or basement.

How to prepare the interior of your home

Tick off the following:

  • Identify the safest room in the house and make it the "bunker"
  • Secure anything that is likely to fall over like televisions, cabinets, shelves or anything that would cause serious damage if it hit you
  • Double check everyone in the house knows how to turn off the gas, water and power
  • Keep emergency non-perishable food and water in the "bunker".

Your home is going to be one of the safest places to be in a storm if you prepare it properly and unless the Government urges you to evacuate. If you own a home or rent in the Gold Coast then it is always better to be over-prepared than under-prepared.

Talk to the team at Ray White Surfers Paradise for the best properties on the Gold Coast that will stand strong in a storm.

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