Summer time – the best time to take a break and unwind. It’s basically synonymous to sunbathing on the beach and barbecues in the backyard. Who doesn’t love this time of the year?

Unfortunately, another thing it’s synonymous to are wild storms — weather disturbances occur all throughout Queensland, typically between September and March. As we are all aware, more and more storm forecasts will appear in the coming months so it’s important that you ensure you are prepared for the extreme weather.

Before you get caught in the wrath of nature, be sure to plan ahead.

Make Sure the Backyard is Secured

The backyard is, perhaps, one of the first things you need to worry about.

Never go near a fallen powerline. Anything metallic should be kept securely as they can likely conduct electricity when the power goes out. If need be, call Energex (13 19 62) urgently.

All loose items on your lawn should be kept away during a storm. It is crucial to everyone’s safety that you eliminate any object that can possibly harm you or your property as they can be swept away by the strong winds.

Prepare a Storm Survival Kit

Alarmingly, despite the fact that Queensland is frequently visited by storms this time of the year, only a few households are equipped with a storm emergency kit.

The storm emergency kit – as recommended by the Queensland Government – should include the following:

– A first aid kit
– A portable radio
– Candles
– A torch
– Some sturdy gloves
– Essential medications
– Non-perishable food
– Matches
– Spare batteries
– Waterproof / air tight bags
– Copies of important documents (eg insurance details, birth certificates, prescription refills) in sealable plastic bags.

This emergency kit should then be kept in a waterproof container and be placed in an area that is easily accessible.

Always be vigilant and pay attention to storm updates either via radio or television. This will help you properly assess the severity of the situation and know whether or not there is a need to evacuate. Keep a list of emergency phone numbers and practice an evacuation drill to prepare for a storm surge.

Check for Overhanging Trees

Brisbane is well known for its abundance of native flora, however, this poses a big threat to the power lines when storms hit, causing power interruptions, electrical fires and in worst cases, electrocution.

Make sure that gutters and drain pipes are unclogged from any debris, including excess foliage from hanging branches. Consult an arborist before undertaking any actions to prevent putting yourself in danger, as well as avoid any fines, since most areas are protected under Brisbane City Council Law.