Get Ready: Prepare Your Home

There is no better time than now to get your home prepared so you are ready when the next natural disaster hits.

Home Maintenance

The best place to start is home maintenance. Keeping your garden maintained and looking out for any damage on your home as a result of age or a previous incident will ensure your home is in the best shape it can be to weather a disaster. A handy checklist is provided in our emergency guide: why not include this home preparation list in your emergency plan, ensuring that you include the following key tasks:

  • Check your roof is in good condition
  • Keep gutters and downpipes clear of debris
  • Trim trees and overhanging branches
  • Report any branches hanging over powerlines
  • Clear away rubbish in your yard
  • Ensure garden waste and other flammables are not dumped in adjoining bushland
  • Repair sealant around windowsills
  • Fix corrosion, loose fittings or damaged timber
  • Empty standing water around your property

If you are renting, talk to your property manager or landlord if you notice that any of these key maintenance tasks are needed.

Insurance

Many people realise too late that their home and contents insurance does not cover them for natural disasters, or does not provide sufficient cover. Call your insurance provider sooner rather than later to ensure that you have the correct cover for your assets and belongings. Ask:

  1. What disasters does my policy cover?
  2. How does my policy define each disaster?
  3. How much will my policy cover in the event of a disaster?
  4. Does my policy cover the cost of rebuilding my home and any extra costs that may be incurred?
  5. Is my insurance adequate to cover the replacement of my possessions?
  6. Does my policy cover localised hazards such as storm, cyclone, flood and bushfire?

Disaster-Specific Preparation

Many home disaster-preparation activities, are applicable to a wide range of hazards. However, different hazards pose different threats and cause different types of damage. It is therefore important to base your home preparation activities on your understanding of risks in your local area.

This factsheet from the Queensland government outlines home preparation activities for three different scenarios:severe weather, bushfire, and cyclones, storms and flooding.

The Bushfire Resilient Building Guidance for Queensland Homes is a joint initiative of the Queensland Government and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). The guideline was developed by the bushfire adaptation team (CSIRO Land & Water) to support a statewide effort in mitigating catastrophic impacts from bushfires. The booklet provides detailed information on how to design new or retrofit old homes for better bushfire outcomes, along with landscaping and maintenance guidance for those in areas vulnerable to bushfires. Click the link below to download the PDF document: