Storm & cyclone safety
Living in Queensland, we understand that unpredictable and powerful storms are a part of life. And, while we may have become accustomed to their arrival every storm season, it's vital to be prepared.
Firstly, here's a few tips to assist you in making sure your home is shipshape for the storm season:
- Tidy up unsecured objects around your home and yard.
- Trim loose branches, but call a professional tree trimmer if they’re near powerlines.
- Have extra cash on hand – ATMs and banks may not be operating.
- Check your Emergency Kit and ensure you have water containers and a BBQ, or other gas or coal cooking facilities.
- Pack spare clothing, shoes, sturdy gloves and hats in waterproof containers.
- Freeze water for alternative refrigeration should there be a power failure.
- Make sure your pet’s registration and tags are current.
- Stock up on food, water and medicines for each pet, plus newspapers for their sanitary needs.
- Identify a safe place to evacuate to should a storm surge or flood threaten.
- Install a surge protector in your home to protect sensitive electronic equipment.
- Ensure mobile phone batteries are fully charged and have a landline phone ready, as cordless phone base stations don’t work without electricity.
- Board or tape glass on exposed windows and secure all doors.
- Fill containers with water, including bath and sink, in case water supplies are cut.
- Ensure that your car has a full tank of fuel.
- Store your important documents, medical prescriptions, mementos, photos and valuables in a waterproof container in a secure location like your car boot.
- Heed evacuation warnings if you’re in caravans, tents or low lying areas.
- Stay indoors as the storm approaches and ensure pets are secured safely under shelter.
- Turn off and unplug electrical appliances such as TV, DVD or VCR aerial cables.
- Stay inside and away from windows and doors.
- Listen to a battery-operated radio for weather updates and don't venture outside until you know it's safe to do so.
- Use a torch to find your way around.
- Don't use a landline phone during a storm. Use a mobile, but only in emergencies.
- 'Take care, stay line aware' and stay well away from fallen powerlines. Always assume they are 'live' and dangerous. Report them immediately to Triple Zero (000).
- Listen to a battery-operated radio for official advice and power restoration information.
- If you experience tingles or shocks from an electrical appliance or water taps, call us immediately on 13 16 70, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And call your licensed electrical contractor to check your electrical wiring immediately.
- Take extra care around your switchboard if it's outside and wear synthetic or rubber-soled shoes. If you are in any doubt about the switchboard's safety, stay clear and call your licensed electrical contractor.
- Don't use any electrical appliances that have been wet or damaged. Have them checked by your licensed electrical contractor.
- Alert neighbours if you think there may be any danger and don't go sight-seeing.
If your home or business is damaged preventing the reconnection of power, have a licensed electrical contractor repair electrical damage. Notify us when repairs are complete so power can be restored.
Around fallen powerlines
- 'Take care, stay line aware' when cleaning up after a storm, as high winds and debris can bring overhead powerlines down.
- Be cautious around fallen branches, debris and water as they could be hiding fallen powerlines.
- Don’t take chances. If you find something you think might be a powerline, always assume it is ‘live’ and dangerous, keep well away, warn others and call Triple Zero (000).
- Any electrical faults, including brown outs, might be caused by fallen powerlines. Always assume fallen powerlines are live. Stay well clear and warn others.
- Warn children not to play or swim in floodwaters, as there may be unseen ‘live’ and dangerous electrical wiring or fallen powerlines in or around the water, which may be hidden by debris.
- Don’t connect portable generators to the electrical wiring of your house or office unless a licensed electrical contractor has installed a changeover switch.
- Always read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before plugging appliances directly into the generator.
- Always run portable generators outdoors and keep them away from open windows – including those of neighbours, so that exhaust fumes don’t enter homes.
- Use heavy-duty extension cords rated for outdoor use.
- If you're going away, switch off and unplug all non-essential electrical equipment to avoid damage from power surges.
Hi I’m Aaron, with a quick home safety check for Storm Season.
Firstly, check that you have all the necessary safety gear.
Make sure that your emergency numbers are in a convenient location and that your emergency kit is stocked with essential supplies. Your kit should include a torch, a radio and of course, charged batteries.
Next, in case of a power outage, make sure that all the appliances around your home are unplugged, and that includes aerials.
While you’re moving around you can also tape up any exposed windows.
In case water supplies are cut, fill some containers and your bath with water.
If you do fill the bath and you have small children in your house, make sure the bathroom door is closed and secured.
Also, ensure you have sufficient gas for cooking.
And candles…just in case the lights go off.
If the storm hits, use your torch for lighting, your radio for listening to updates and stay away from those taped up windows.
OK, that’s storm preparation but after a storm there are three important things you should remember.
One, don’t use any appliances that have been wet or damaged.
Two, don’t go sightseeing, I know it can be tempting but it can also be dangerous.
And three, if you see a fallen powerline keep well away, warn others and ring Triple Zero.
And finally, if your home sustains any electrical damage please call a licensed electrical contractor to make repairs before contacting Ergon Energy to restore power.
So, when there is a storm on the horizon, keep these things in mind and keep your loved ones safe.
While you’re online why not check out our other short electrical safety videos. And remember, make your safety checks routine and always be aware of the dangers of electricity.