Be storm safe this summer

tree fallen on house The State Emergency Service (SES) is responsible for helping Canberrans during storms.

Summer has arrived in the ACT but it also brings with it an increased risk of storms that can cause major damage if not prepared.

Storms can happen anywhere and at any time. Many severe storms can be accompanied by torrential rain, strong winds, large hailstones and lighting, all of which can cause flash flooding, unroof buildings and damage trees or powerlines.

If your home or property isn’t directly damaged by a storm, you may be affected in other ways such as not being able to access roads which have been cut off due to floods or fallen trees, or you may have no power or telephone.

It is also critical to know how to protect those who may rely on you for help during a storm including children, pets and animals, seniors, people with impaired mobility, or people who have intellectual, vision, or hearing impairments. Visit the ESA website for a breakdown on how to help as well what to do in places like schools and rural or urban areas.

If you find yourself in need of help during a storm or if you have been caught in a flood, the SES can help. You can call the SES on 132 500 during an emergency. Make sure you’re always tuned in to your local radio station for updates.

For more information, visit esa.act.gov.au/actses.

Preparing for a storm

Follow these eight steps to help reduce the potential damage caused by severe storms:

1. Maintain your yard and balcony by securing or putting away items that could blow around in strong winds.

2. Clean your gutters, downpipes and drains regularly to prevent blockages.

3. Trim trees and branches that could potentially fall on your home or property.

4. Fix any damage to your roof including broken or missing tiles.

5. Check your insurance policy is current and adequate.

6. Make a plan for your family that outlines what you would do in an emergency.

7. Put together an emergency kit.

8. Listen to your local radio station and other media for weather warnings.

During a storm

Storms can vary in severity and length. There are simple steps you can follow to help protect your family no matter the impact:

1. Never enter or travel through floodwater.

2. Stay indoors, clear of windows.

3. Stay clear of creeks, drains, causeways, gutters, streams, fallen trees or powerlines and damaged buildings.

4. If you are driving,  pull over to the side of the road and put your hazard lights, keeping clear of drains,  causeways, gutters, streams, creeks, trees, and powerlines.

5. If outdoors, seek secure cover away from drains, causeways, gutters, streams, creeks, trees, and powerlines.

6. Listen to your local radio station and other media for information, updates, and advice.

7. For emergency help in floods and storms, call the SES on 132 500.

Have an emergency kit

Have an emergency kit and keep it in an accessible place so you're ready if a storm hits. Your emergency kit should include:

  • a portable radio (with spare batteries)
  • a torch
  • a first aid kit, and
  • copies of emergency plans.

If you have been asked to evacuate then ensure you use a waterproof bag to store any medication you might need, supplies for a baby, pet, or other person in your care, food and drinking water.

For a full checklist on what to include in your storm emergency kit, visit the SES website .