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.

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.

Before

  • 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.

During

  • 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.

After

  • 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 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.

Generators

  • 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.

Going away?

  • If you're going away, switch off and unplug all non-essential electrical equipment to avoid damage from power surges.

What to do if the power goes out

  • If you’re experiencing dull or flickering lights, turn off and unplug sensitive electrical appliances like your television, computer and DVD at the powerpoint and call 13 22 96.
  • Check from your window to see if only your home is affected or if it’s more widespread.
  • If you’ve seen or heard something that could help identify the problem, stay well clear and call us on 13 22 96.
  • If not, listen to your radio for updates or call 13 22 96.

 

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