Most parts of Australia are at risk of cyclones which include Queensland, northern Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Residents seriously underestimate the damage cyclones can do, according to new research released by Suncorp as the cyclone season gets underway.

The study, carried out with James Cook University, shows Queenslanders are not aware of the damage inflicted by storms like last year’s Cyclone Debbie, which caused insured losses of $1.78 billion.

About 90% of 550 north Queensland respondents who took part in the research say Category 1-2 storms carry “very low to somewhat low” damage and about 45% also felt the same about more powerful Category 3-4 storms.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, average to below-average tropical cyclone activity is most likely for the Australian region this season.

The typical Australian tropical cyclone season:

• has most tropical cyclones between 1 November and 30 April
• averages around 11 tropical cyclones
• sees an average of four tropical cyclones cross the coast, though coastal impacts can be felt when tropical cyclones remain well offshore
• on average has its first cyclone cross the coast in late December
• is rarely evenly spread- quiet periods are often followed by bursts of activity

A cyclone attack can cause extensive damage to your home. Imagine strong wind, heavy rain, and flying debris coming on strong your way. However, the risk of damage can be minimised if you take the right approach in protecting your home. It’s important to take measures and making it a priority to prepare a survival plan and ensure every family member knows what to do when a cyclone strikes.

Some practical steps to reduce the damage caused by a cyclone:

• Remove dead or rotting trees and trim branches that overhang the property
• Secure all loose items outside your property including garden furniture, umbrellas, sheds and children’s cubby houses
• Clear gutters, and checking that gutters and the roof of the property are secure
• Install metal window or shutters to glass windows and doors
• Check the condition of your roof and repair any damage or loose tiles
• Secure any boats or vehicles and move your car under cover
• Clear your property of loose material that could blow about and possibly cause injury or damage during extreme winds
• Prepare a room-by-room inventory of the contents of your home
• Have waterproof bags ready to protect clothing and important documents from storm damage
• Unplug any electrical equipment well before the storm arrives
• Decide on the best strategy for protecting your pets
• Prepare a storm readiness kit, including a torch, radio, candles, matches, new batteries and any important documents or contact numbers
• Listen to the ABC Local Radio for storm updates or visit the Bureau of Meteorology website
• Know where and how to turn off mains power, water, gas and solar power

Do not go outside until authorities advise that the cyclone has passed your area. Always keep an eye out and contact your insurer as soon as you are able to lodge a claim.

At East West Insurance Brokers, our professional brokers can help guide you through the available options and ensure that you have sufficient property insurance for your home.

Learn how you can keep your home safe, secure, and protected. Take the time to talk to us, you’ll be glad you did:

P: 1800 809 132
E: hello@ewib.com.au
W: www.ewib.com.au

*Please note all insurance policies have exclusions. Please refer to the Product Disclosure Statement or Policy Wording before deciding whether the insurance policy meets your needs.

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