Storm Season Preparedness for Queensland Body Corporates: Protecting Your Property and Community

Queensland strata residents are no strangers to the unpredictable and sometimes violent nature of storms. With storm season just around the corner, it’s crucial for body corporates to prepare well in advance to protect their properties and communities. In this article, we’ll explore the essential steps and considerations that every body corporate should take to ensure they are storm-ready.
Understanding the Risk

Queensland is notorious for its severe weather events, including cyclones, heavy rainfall, and thunderstorms. These storms can result in property damage, power outages, and even pose risks to residents’ safety. Therefore, it’s crucial for body corporates to take storm season preparations seriously.
Assessing Your Property’s Vulnerabilities

Before storm season arrives, conduct a thorough assessment of your property to identify vulnerabilities. This includes:

1. Roof Inspection: Ensure that the roofs of all buildings within your complex are in good condition. Repair any loose or damaged tiles and secure roofing materials.

2. Gutter and Drain Maintenance: Clean gutters and drains to prevent water buildup, which can lead to flooding and structural damage.

3. Tree Trimming: Trim overhanging branches and trees near buildings to reduce the risk of falling debris during storms.

4. Secure Outdoor Furniture: Store or secure outdoor furniture, signage, and other loose items to prevent them from becoming dangerous projectiles in high winds.

5. Windows and Doors: Check the integrity of windows and doors. Ensure that they are sealed properly to prevent water from entering.

Emergency Plan and Communication
Develop and communicate an emergency plan for your community. This should include:

1. Evacuation Procedures: Establish clear evacuation routes and assembly points within your complex.

2. Emergency Contacts: Share a list of important contacts, including local authorities, with all residents.

3. Communication Channels: Implement a system for quickly disseminating storm warnings and updates to all residents. Consider using mobile apps or text alerts for instant communication.

4. Emergency Kit: Encourage residents to prepare personal emergency kits containing essentials like water, non-perishable food, flashlights, and first-aid supplies.

Insurance Coverage

Review your property’s insurance coverage. Ensure that it adequately covers damage caused by storms, including flooding. It’s also wise to keep an up-to-date inventory of the property’s contents to facilitate the insurance claims process in case of damage.

Regular Maintenance

Maintaining the property is an ongoing task. Regular maintenance can help identify and address issues before they become significant problems during a storm. Consider scheduling routine inspections and maintenance checks to keep your property in optimal condition.

Community Awareness and Education

Educate your community members about storm preparedness. Organise workshops or information sessions to teach residents about the importance of securing their belongings and following the community’s emergency plan.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO AFTER DISATER STRIKES

Once the danger has passed, strata committees or their representatives should conduct a thorough inspection of all public areas on the property. A comprehensive report should be compiled, no matter how minor the damage.
The report should detail:

• Date and time
• The adverse weather conditions
• Damage caused by the weather event
• Take photos of the damage before repairs commence
• Previous condition of damaged area of the property
• History of maintenance or upkeep if applicable
• Any immediate rectification required and undertaken
• Expert assessments
• Plans for future repairs
• Mitigation strategies that have been put in place or will be put in place to prevent further damage.

The more detailed and extensive the report is, the easier it will be for insurers to advise on the potential recovery of costs to remedy the damage.
Storm season is an annual event that every Queensland body corporate should prepare for diligently. By assessing vulnerabilities, developing an emergency plan, and fostering a culture of preparedness within your community, you can protect both your property and the safety of your residents. Don’t wait until the storms are on the horizon—start your preparations today to ensure a safer and more resilient future for your body corporate and its members.
Don’t forget in an emergency situation call:

• Flood/Storm/Bushfire Emergency – call the State Emergency Service (SES) on 132 500
• Life Threatening Emergency – call 000
• Non-Emergency SES Enquiries – click here

Check out these related articles for more information:

Electrical Safety During the Storm Season
What To Do When Your Building Has Been Inundated With Water
How Prolonged Rain Can Affect Your Building
Is Your Building Insurance Up To Date?

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