Australia has been experiencing a La Nina weather pattern for the last 2 years. We feel water logged after floods have ravaged 3 states and many Aussies are sure if this doesn't let up soon we will reach a point of evolution that involves webbed toes for all of us.
Well hold onto your hats, because not only have announcements been made that have us expecting a 3rd consecutive year of La Nina, but this storm season is likely to have 4 cyclone in Queensland added to the mix. That's a lot more than just water!!
So it seems Billy Joel knew what he was taking about when he said there was a storm front coming. What Billy never told us was what we can do about it??
Obviously we can't control the weather, only the action we take to prepare and respond to what the weather brings us. Preparing for the worst possibility is the key to how well you will cope when, not if, a natural disaster occurs.
Here in the Sunny state of Queensland our government has a program to designed to help Queenslanders prepare for all sorts of natural disaster. Given the cyclone predictions this year we will focus on that. Click the link below to see the plan
The 3 basic steps to being storm ready
Have a Plan
-ensure that everyone in your household know exactly wat to do when the storm hits. When designing your plan understand the risk you are facing and plan to keep your household member connected and safe in the event you lose phone connectivity or power.
-natural disasters cause major disruption to essential services like power, water, gas, access to pharmacies or supermarkets etc, so its essential to make sure you have enough supplies in your emergency/ evacuation kits. These kits should be packed and ready to go before the storm hits and ready available to pick up and go should you need to evacuate quickly. (hence the name Go Bag)
Make Sure you are covered
- make sure your insurance is current and you have the right cover for the upcoming event. If you do not know if you are correctly covered, contact your broker BEFORE the event takes place. Embargos during a weather event will prevent changes being made to your cover. Your broker can help give you peace of mind that your insurance will be enough to cover the rebuilding costs of your house and / or replacing your contents.
YOUR GO BAG IS ESSENTIAL IN AN EVACUATION
Evacuations are typically last minute and your 'Go Bag' needs to be packed and ready to pick up and leave with little notice. Each family member should have their own go bag ready, it should be easy to carry eg a back pack is a good option, and have all your essentials in it. Don't forget a comfort toy for the kids.
HOW TO PREPARE A GO BAG
The QLD gov site (get ready QLD button earlier in blog) has great suggestions of how to prepare a go bag. We are going to included the insurance version of what you need in your go bag.
# Take photos of all the rooms in your home, along with all your valuables
Store these photos on a cloud sever, plus back them up on a flash drive. If you need to lodge a claim this will help verify what items were lost in the disaster and speed up the claim process by providing proof of belongings.
# Scan all your important documents, save them to a flash drive
If you have an encrypted cloud drive that you trust you can save all the documents there as well. One of the things people often don't realise is that you will need many of the following documents in various departments of govt etc to 'get your life back' on track. You need to be able to prove who you are and it is very common, even likely, that these documents will be destroyed in a disaster.
* Driver's licence / passport
* the deed to your house
* your will and/ or trust
* Proof of insurance (or brokers phone number)
* Medical records
* Birth certificates
* Bank details / cards
* List of personal contacts, addresses and phone numbers
* Your kids immunisation records
* Your pets paperwork for vaccination and medical history
** include the flash drives, photos and documents in you go bag. After a disaster there is a possibility that you will not have access to power, internet or your phone (flat battery) for days to weeks, so any hard copies or flash drives that you can take with you will be your life line in this situation. After the initial emergency aid and the immediate crisis is over, you will need these documents to help make it easier for you to navigate the systems that rely on your ID to prove who you are.
# Add essential supplies to help you get by for a few days
This includes water, non perishables food, a first aid kit, torch, batteries, clothes, nappies, kids comfort toy and medications.
# Don't forget your pets.
Your pets will essentially need a go bag too. A carry cage; harness/ leash; food for a few days; bowl; litter and tray or poo bags; medical records and vaccination records; medications; proof of being serviced trained if they are service animals; blankets or bed.
Trust your broker to help you come claim time. The disaster is a traumatic event. Likeliness is that you will be in shock, not thinking clearly and need help. Your broker should be one of your fist calls. They will help you get into emergency accommodation, lodge your claim quickly and easily, they will go through your policy looking for perks like counselling or immediate financial aid, whether you are identified as a vulnerable client etc.
Your broker works for you, not the insurance company. You are their priority!! They take the stress our of making a claim and offer you support, at one of the most emotional times of your life. It's not just about protecting your world, its also about making it easy for you when your world falls apart.