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StormSafe Week: Your tips

Published 21/08/2012

This week is StormSafe Week, when we at Victoria State Emergency Service (SES) spread the message that everyone can be prepared for storms.SES volunteers secure a house damaged by storms.

Much of the damage inflicted by storms is preventable. While SES volunteers are highly trained to help when the worst happens, there are simple things every household can do to prepare ahead of time.

SES reached out to you, the community, to share your advice on how you've prepared for storms. We've received some great responses and learned that there are a lot of Victorians out there who are keeping their home StormSafe.

Kristy Kulper and Rob Scott have done quite a bit to ensure their property is prepared. "We have two sheds to put all our outdoor stuff in if a storm decides to hit," the pair posted on Facebook. "Our gutters are cleaned out, we have no leaks (and) we have extra downpipes from our gutters so they drain quicker." The pair’s dog has a big, covered-in box to shelter in and their car is safe under a large garage. “We have all emergency numbers written down from SES to doctors to vets … got them all."

Roison Lamprell has cleared grass, weeds and rubbish from the drainage pipe in front of her garage. "That way, when we have that heavy deluge and all the water runs down my drive, the water can disappear into the drain and not overflow and flood my garage or worse, back up and flood the path to my front door and seep into the house!" she wrote.

Louise Turner has found a fun approach to keeping the yard clean. She encourages the kids to play a game of pick-up sticks to gather branches and put them in a pile for later burial.

Here are some of the other great tips we received:

  • "We prepare for the threat of a storm by ensuring our gutters are clean and that everything is secure in our front or back yard," wrote Susan Henshaw.
  • Angela Farrel Van Zyl has pruned her trees so the branches don’t fall on anyone – or anything. Kerryn Law does the same and ensures her car is undercover and her backyard furniture is secure.
  • Audette Moore pointed out that cleaning gutters was especially important in bush areas with a lot of trees. "I turn the trampoline upside down and make sure all the kids' outdoor toys are in the shed," she wrote.
  • Karen Wade advised everyone to put the cars in the garage and the outdoor furniture inside, sweep up leaves so they don't block the drains, makes sure animals have shelter and, lastly, keep the gumboots handy!
  • Putting light outdoor items in the shed is a priority for Ashlea Webb, who also checks drains are clear and lowers exterior blinds around her house.
  • As the mum of a newborn, Sheree Brand makes sure she's stocked up on nappies, as well as food and candles.
  • When a storm is coming, Wendy George puts the car away and makes sure she's inside with torches, candles, emergency kit supplies, batteries and, of course, her curled-up cats.
  • "We have been getting ready for storms by checking roof tiles and unblocking guttering of residue and leaves and of course ensuring trees have been cut back where possible," wrote Carmen Canle.