Living in Far North Queensland comes with many perks – warm winters, sunshine all year round and the Great Barrier Reef on our doorstep. However, if you have lived here for a while, then you also know one of the biggest downsides of living here – cyclone season.
Cairns and the rest of North Queensland is in a high-risk zone for cyclones, which can often affect insurance policies for home and contents, business and even car insurances. Although the insurance premiums are out of your control, there are some things you can do to prepare for the cyclone season that can help reduce the potential damage to your property.
Check your property before the start of the cyclone season
Walk around the outside of your property and check that there is nothing that needs structural repair, and that the building, fences and outhouses are secure. You should also check that your roof and gutters are not damaged. It is important to do this kind of inspection annually, so that you have enough time to fix any issues before the cyclone season starts.
In case of a storm surge/tide warning, or other flooding, make sure you know your nearest safe high ground and the safest access route to it.
Clean up your yard
Keep the outside of your yard as tidy as possible by ensuring any unused outdoor furniture is tied down or stored away. This will save the last minute rush to do so when a cyclone warning has already been issued. Check that any other loose items, such as tools, lawnmowers, toys and boats are all tied down, or you have items available to do so when a cyclone warning is issued. It is also important to have a look around your yard for any trees that need trimming, particularly if they are hanging over yours or your neighbour’s fence.
Organise your emergency kit
Think about the items you will need if a cyclone hits and the power goes out. Some things to include in your emergency kit are:
- Battery-powered radio and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Masking tape and scissors (to tape windows if needed)
- Bottles of water
- Food that won’t perish without a refrigerator, and a can opener for any tinned food
- Waterproof bags for electrical devices and identification documents
Check on your neighbours
If your neighbours are new to the area, are elderly or have young children, make sure you check on them to ensure they are prepared. Lend a hand if you think they are having problems getting cyclone ready, as it could also save potential damage to your property.
Review insurance policies
If you haven’t done so this year already, have a look through your car insurance and house insurance policies to make sure you have the correct level of cover for cyclone damage. If you are unsure about the wording in a policy, speak to an insurance broker in Cairns who will be able to explain to you what exactly you are a covered for and recommend alternative policies to ensure you are adequately covered.
For more information about getting cyclone ready, speak to one of our insurance brokers at Preston Finance and Insurance today.