THE STATE Emergency Service (VICSES) has warned Gippsland residents to plan ahead and be prepared for storms.
First published in the 15 May 2015 edition of the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen.
With high wind warnings in place across the area during the week and more likely to come, there are several ways to prepare the property and ensure your safety.
All household items found in your backyard should either be tied down or moved inside to prevent potential damage to the house.
Branches or trees which could fall and hit people or valuable items such as a car or building should be cut or shortened.
Indeed, cars should be moved undercover if possible or kept away from trees and electrical lines.
External drainage should be unblocked to prevent flooding or damage to the roof of the house.
If a house is damaged during a storm, the insurance of the home and its contents should be verified as soon as possible.
When damaging storms are likely to occur, keep the radio on at all times and regularly visit the VICSES website for information.
All members of the family, including animals, should remain indoors for the entire duration of the storm.
A loss of electricity should be expected and torches, candles and charged mobile phones should be kept close to hand.
If you are driving during a storm, move off the road into a clearing away from large trees and electrical wires, turn the engine off and the hazard lights on.
If you are unable to reach a shelter, find a space as far away from drains, creeks, trees, power lines and other loose materials as possible.
Water from a flood should never be entered or swum in as it could be toxic, fast moving or hiding something dangerous.
Small repairs to the roof of the house or any other area should always be carried out with extreme caution.
Emergency repairs should be referred to the SES.
Regional manager of the VICSES eastern region Jamie Twidale said the SES was ready to respond to any weather event at any time of the day.
“Community members are advised to call 132 500 if they require assistance from Victoria State Emergency Service volunteers due to storm related damage,” Mr Twidale said.
“If it is a life threatening emergency, call Triple Zero (000).”
Following a storm, houses and surrounding property should be examined to see if any damage has occurred.
Even if the storm seems to be over exercise extreme caution around fallen trees, power lines, destroyed buildings and waterways.
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