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What to do after a storm

This article is intended as a general guide only. You should consult your state fire and emergency services for further information.

Knowing what to do after a storm may seem like an overwhelming task if your home is damaged. But once the danger subsides and you have safe access, there are several steps you can take to restore your property and make it easier for your family to look confidently towards the future.

Here is some practical advice dealing with the aftermath of a storm or cyclone.

 

1. Damage inside your home

Downpours can cause problems to your electrics long after a storm has occurred so continuing to monitor weather services for updates and news is important, says Arron Mann, QBE General Manager, Short Tail Claims.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has various helpful storm and cyclone maps and information you can access online.

“Check electrical items have not been affected by water and are safe to use. If you’re not sure, get them tested, particularly if there were a lot of lightning strikes in the area,” cautions Mann.

Flooring is another area that can be affected, adds Mann. “Storms or cyclones will often cause damage to carpets and flooring to home contents as a result of rainwater and run off.”

Ceilings are more susceptible to long-term damage. “Ceilings are often damaged as a result of roof plumbing not coping with the amount of water,” explains Mann. “Be careful when returning home because of the potential for ceilings to collapse. Sometimes you won’t even know that you have a leak in your ceiling cavity until insulation is so soaked that it’s too heavy for the ceiling to hold.”

2. Damage outside your home

Your roof is the main external area that will need careful examination, Mann suggests. “People don’t always check their roofs for storm damage, and this can cause problems later on so it’s worth checking, but only if it’s safe to do so.”

Mann also recommends contacting your state-based emergency service for serious roofing problems if necessary. “In high winds, a storm can lift up roof sheeting. If this happens, put tarps in place for the short-term.”

If you suspect asbestos is in your roof, do not attempt repairs on your own. “Asbestos can also be an issue with roofing and will require expert help,” advises Mann.

Even after the storm or cyclone appears to be over, do not go sightseeing. You don’t want to get in the way of emergency recovery operations or endanger yourself or others. But it is a good idea to check on your neighbours and see if they need assistance.

Continue to avoid waterways, drains, fallen trees, fallen power lines and damaged buildings.

If you have questions about your insurance policy and what you are covered for please call our team on 8925 5901 or email info@aant.com.au

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