Tips to make your house storm-ready this winter
During winter in the South West it is extremely important to be prepared for any possible hazardous weather that comes with the wet season.
While the dangers of a storm cannot be prevented, there are ways to prepare and reduce the amount of damage a storm can cause.
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services has many tips to prepare for storms and harsh weather.
The most common causes of damage are flying objects, fallen trees, as well as flooding from blocked gutters.
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As storms can happen without much notice it is always a good idea to prepare and maintain your property throughout the year.
Trim tree branches around your home to prevent them falling on your roof or on top of your car.
Clear all gutters and down pipes so they do not overflow and cause flooding after heavy rain.
Check the house for loose tiles and cladding on roofs to reduce leaks and the risk of flying debris.
Check fastenings, joints and bolts on structures including carports and patios to make sure they are secured and not rusted.
Store or weigh down loose objects around your home that could be picked up or thrown by strong winds, causing damage or injury.
Prepare an emergency kit with items such as a battery operated radio, torch, spare batteries, a first aid kit, toilet and sanitary supplies, spare clothes and shoes for each member of the household, pet supplies and a spare set of house and car keys.
The emergency kit must be kept in a waterproof container to ensure nothing gets damaged.
Organise an emergency storm plan, including a plan to evacuate for your family and pets in case your home becomes flooded.
DFES Superintendent Lower South West Phil Brandrett said that the State Emergency Services number received almost 1600 calls for roof structural damage last year.
“So it’s about tying loose objects down, so you can’t create a greater risk somewhere else, another common cause of damage is people transferring things on trailers and their roofs of their cars and driving in strong winds so think about them being secure,” Supt Brandrett said.
“People can keep up to date during storm by visiting the Emergency WA website and we do have a number to call which is 13DFES, they can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well.”
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