Natural disasters, such as the storms that wrecked havoc in Sydney recently, can greatly impact your home, property and lifestyle.
Large storms can be devastating. They can ruin homes and damage entire neighbours. We saw the beach front homes in Collaroy NSW get hammered by the weather and large sea swell. Home’s throughout Sydney’s Northern Beaches and beyond have been left damage, with some in danger of collapsing.
So what can you do after a severe storm to make sure your home and family are safe and secure?
Home Safety Tips After A Sydney Storm
The first thing you should do after severe weather is to make sure you protect yourself from damaged buildings and debris. When you are assessing the damage on your property wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and covered shoes.
If you are returning home after a natural disaster, turn all electricity and gas off before going inside. Use a torch to examine the building instead of a candle or cigarette lighter. Only turn the gas and electricity on only if you are certain there are no gas leaks or danger from electricity.
When walking around your neighbourhood, beware of fallen power lines, damaged trees and flooded creeks. If you discover fallen power lines, keep yourself and your family away and call Ausgrid emergency services on 13 13 88.
Has your property experience flash-flooding? If so remove any access water you can and mop soaked carpets. Be sure to clean and disinfect all wet areas. Flood water can leave behind sewage and other unknown chemicals, so be sure to wear protective clothing such as gloves and covered shoes during cleanup. If you must enter stagnant water around your property, wear solid shoes, not thongs or barefoot and always check the depth with a stick.
Beware of snakes and spiders who will have also tried to escape the heavy rain. If you have snake in your house call your local Sydney reptile handler to have it removed.
Don’t eat food that has been in contact with floodwaters. Throw any food that has been damaged, drenched or submerged.
And lastly, make sure your neighbours are OK. By working together everyone can be sure that their homes and neighbourhoods are safe and secure.
Drone footage of Sydney storm hitting Collaroy Beach in Sydney’s Northern Beaches. June 2016
Conduct A Home Security Check After The Storm
Walk around your property and check your home for damage to windows, doors, walls and roof. If your doors and windows have been damaged, get them replaced immediately.
Photograph any damage for when you make you insurance claims. Remember to photograph both the structure of your home and any contents that may have been damaged during the storm in Sydney.
Check your home security is working correctly. Check that the battery is charging property. Are all sensors working correctly?
Check that all locks are working correctly and haven’t been damaged.
Check out our home security checklist for a detailed guide to securing your home.
What To Do If Your Home Has Been Significantly Damaged?
Has your home experienced significant damage after a storm? If so, you are likely temporarily living somewhere else, leaving your home vacant. Here are some tips to securing your home if your house is currently vacant.
- Ask your local police to temporarily have your home patrolled while you are away.
- If you have electricity, schedule the lights to turn on automatically. Some home security systems can do this, however, you can buy inexpensive timers that can turn on electronics at a specified time. This gives the impression you are home.
- Turn down the volume of your telephone. Make sure that potential thieves can’t hear the phone ringing and determine the house is empty.
- If possible, leave a secured vehicle in the driveway to give the impression someone is home.
- Remove any expensive valuables, such as cash, jewellery, passports and other tempting items. Bring them to your temporary location while your home is being restored.
- Install smoke detectors. Fires are common after disasters. Link your fire detectors to your security system. The benefit of doing this is it will automatically alert your local fire department at the first signs of a fire.
Going through a natural disaster such as the storm that hit Sydney and the Northern Beaches can be a tough time for any family. This information is intended as a general guide to making your home safe and secure. If you have a specific issue you need help with call the SES on 132 500. It is a security matter, you can talk to one of our locksmiths on (02) 8077 2595.
Header image: Flooding and water damage to properties on Newbridge Rd Milperra from Sydney storms June 2016. smh.com.au
Have friends that have been impacted by the recent storms?
Share this article with them and make sure they stay safe and secure.
How have you coped with Sydney’s latest storms? Let us know in the comment section below.