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Storms

Although most frequent between October and May, storms can occur no matter what time of year it is.

Storms are the most common emergencies affecting Victorians, and cost the State more than $28 million each year.

Severe storms are often accompanied by torrential rain, strong winds, large hailstones and lightening. They can cause significant damage and often result in flash flooding, damage to buildings, fallen trees, and damaged powerlines.  

For current warnings please visit the Bureau of Meteorology website at www.bom.gov.au.

Preparing for a Storm

Here are some actions you can take to be prepared for storms and floods, and minimise the potential for damage to your property:

  • Check the condition of the roof and arrange for the repair loose tiles, eaves and roof screws
  • Clean gutters and downpipes so water can drain away as quickly as possible
  • Trim trees and overhanging branches
  • Secure loose items around your property and garden that could cause damage if blown around in high winds such as garden furniture and toys)
  • Ensure your home, contents and car insurance is current and covers your assets adequately – check your policy includes debris clean up and disposal costs
  • Identify which room is the strongest part of the house, in case you need to shelter at home during severe storm (usually this is the smallest room with the least windows)
  • Identify where and how to turn off mains supply for water, power and gas
  • Purchase emergency essentials to have on hand, such as:
    • containers to store drinking water supplies
    • spare supply of fuel for use in your vehicle (ensure you store safely)
    • wide masking tape for windows
    • sandbags - hessian bags filled with sand to place over indoor drains to prevent sewerage backwash from flooding
  • Store all poisons above ground level in case of flash flooding
  • Identify which indoor items you will need to raise or empty if flooding threatens your home (e.g. freezers and refrigerators)
Staying Safe in a Storm

In the event of a storm you should:
  • Have your emergency kit handy
  • Clear or secure loose objects from around your yard and property
  • Clean and check roof, guttering and down pipes
  • Have masking tape available for glass, plastic sheeting and large garbage bags for rain protection
  • Listen to your local radio station for information (ABC local radio: 774 AM – Melbourne or 91.1 FM – Bendigo)
  • Make sure pets and animals are secure and have shelter
  • Move vehicles into garages or under shelter (not under trees)
  • Disconnect electrical appliances
  • Avoid using the telephone unless essential
  • Stay well clear of windows and shelter in the strongest part of the property, e.g. bathroom
  • Seek shelter if you get caught outdoors (not under trees)
  • If there is no shelter close by crouch down, don't lie flat
  • Avoid metal objects such as ladders, umbrellas, fences, and taps 
After the storm:
  • Check for damage to your property
  • Continue to listen to the radio for information
  • If you need assistance contact the VicSES on 132 500 or 000 if the situation is life threatening
  • Check on your family and immediate neighbours
  • Beware of fallen powerlines, trees, damaged buildings and other hazards
  • Don't leave your home unless it's absolutely necessary
  • Check major appliances are working and there is no damage to the fuse box
  • Do not drive or walk through flood waters (that may contain sewerage or debris)
  • Stay clear of damaged trees, powerlines and damaged structures, drain, culverts and waterways as conditions can change rapidly
For more information on storms, check out the VicSES website at www.ses.vic.gov.au
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