PREPARE FOR a storm

Getting yourself and your household storm ready is your responsibility.

When to prepare

While the dangers of a storm can’t be prevented, you can prepare and reduce the amount of damage a storm can cause. Most damage is caused by flying objects, fallen trees and flooding from blocked gutters.

As storms can happen at any time and sometimes without much notice, it is best to prepare and maintain your property throughout the year.

Know the storm alerts and warnings

Severe weather is more than 24 hours away.

  • Trim branches around your home to prevent them falling on your roof or car.
  • Clear gutters and downpipes so they do not overflow after heavy rain.
  • Store or weigh down loose objects around your home that could be picked up and thrown by strong winds, causing damage or injury.
  • Prepare an emergency kit with a battery operated radio, torch, spare batteries and first aid kit.
  • Organise an emergency plan, including a plan to evacuate for your family and pets in case your home becomes flooded.

Severe weather is six to 24 hours away.

  • Store or weigh down loose objects around your home like outdoor furniture that could be picked up and thrown by strong winds, causing damage or injury.
  • Ensure your emergency kit is complete including a battery operated radio, torch, spare batteries and first aid kit.
  • Ensure pets and animals are in a safe area.
  • Move vehicles under cover.
  • Boat owners should securely moor their boats.
  • Campers should find safe shelter away from trees, powerlines, storm water drains and streams.
  • Unplug electrical appliances and avoid using landline telephone if there is lightning.
  • If you are away from home contact family or friends to prepare your property.

Severe weather is less than six hours away.

  • Close your curtains and blinds and stay inside away from windows.
  • If outside, find safe shelter away from trees, powerlines, storm water drains and streams.
  • Unplug electrical appliances and avoid using landline telephones if there is lightning.
  • If there is flooding, create your own sandbags and place them around doorways to protect your home.
  • If boating, swimming or surfing, leave the water.

If driving:

  • Do not drive into water of unknown depth and current.
  • Slow down, turn your lights on and keep a safe distance from other drivers.
  • Be alert and watch for hazards on the road such as fallen powerlines and loose debris.
  • If it is raining heavily and you cannot see, pull over and park with your hazard lights on until the rain clears.

The severe weather has passed.

  • Keep away from fallen powerlines, flooded drains, rivers and streams, fallen trees and damaged buildings.
  • Check on your neighbours and assess your property for damage.
  • If damage has occurred, take photos and contact your insurance company to organise permanent repairs.
  • If you need temporary emergency repairs to make your home safe, such as for a badly damaged roof or flooding, call the State Emergency Service on 132 500 to request assistance.

Prepare your storm plan

When a severe storm forms quickly there may not be much time to prepare yourself or your property. You will have a better chance of reducing damage and injury if everyone knows what to do and your property is well maintained.

For a storm plan template, please refer to our Storm Smart brochure.

Your storm plan should consider the following:
Pets and other animals

Prepare an emergency kit

Your emergency kit must be kept in a waterproof plastic container or heavy-duty water-resistant bag. You may be without power, water and other essential services for some days after a severe storm.

Having an up to date emergency kit can better prepare your household for all hazards. Everyone in your household should know where the emergency kit is and be able to reach it.

Your emergency kit should include:
Kit additions once an alert is issued:

Prepare your property

Watch our 1.35 minute video to learn about what you can do to prepare for a storm. View transcript.

  • Keep branches and trees trimmed around structures and powerlines to prevent damage.
  • If needed, hire a contractor to clear trees from power lines.
  • Keep gutters clear so they drain freely.
  • Check for loose tiles and cladding on roofs to reduce leaks and risk of flying debris.
  • Check fastenings, joints and bolts on structures including carports and patios to make sure they are secure and not rusted.
  • Check your home, contents and car insurance cover are in order.
  • If flash flooding is a risk for your area, follow the flood property preparation advice.

More Information

During a storm

Find out what to expect during a severe storm and actions you can take to stay safe.

Learn more

Recovering from a storm

Find out what to expect after a storm and what action you can take to recover.

Learn more

Storm overview

Make sure you know the risks and understand the importance of preparing for storms.

Learn more