Weather events such as severe storms can damage homes and properties, interrupt power supplies, and cause injuries to you and others.
Proper planning may help prevent unexpected injuries and inconvenience when severe weather events strike. Start preparing by creating a disaster plan for you and your family, including an emergency first aid kit and evacuation plan.
Preparing for Severe Storms
Storms can occur anywhere, anytime, accompanied by strong winds, flash flooding, large hailstones, and lightning. All these can result in major damages and put lives at risk.
Australians should brace for severe storms through spring and summer, known as peak storm season.
Every year, five to ten deaths from lightning strikes occur in the country while recording more than 100 people seriously injured. Due to strong winds, the falling trees, branches, and damaged electrical lines can cause further fatalities.
A severe storm with strong winds, heavy rain, hail, and tornadoes may cause a declaration of a state emergency.
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) issues severe storm watches and warnings to alert the public of potentially severe weather.
To remain safe, it is important to know and understand the difference between a watch and a warning.
- Watch – severe thunderstorms may occur in and near the watch area.
- Warning – severe weather has been reported by civilians or spotters. Warnings usually indicate imminent danger to life and property.
Every year, people suffer from serious injuries or death from severe storms despite the warning from BOM. While some are unaware of the warning, some heard it but did not pay attention.
Storm Safety Tips
Severe storms are common in Australia and are expected during the months of November to April.
Here are ways to keep you and others safe before, during, and after a storm.
Create a Storm Safety Plan
A detailed storm safety plan help keep everyone safe when the severe weather threatens. Start plotting the steps towards safety, whether at home, work, school, or participating in outdoor activities.
A storm safety plan will include the following:
Keep a storm safety kit
Basic essential items should be stored in a kit, including personal needs and bleeding control materials like bandages, gauzes, and tourniquet. Consider the healthcare needs of every family member when putting together a first aid kit.
While a disaster first aid kit should contain all basic items needed in the event of emergencies, such as food, water, flashlight, batteries, radios, and more.
Keep these supplies in easy-to-carry storage so you can take them with you if you must evacuate.
Find a Safe Location
A safe area should be able to provide protection from broken glass and flying debris. Building a safe room is a good move if you live in an area prone to stormy winds.
An experienced contractor can help build an area with a reinforced roof, wall, or ceiling to keep you and your family from danger.
Learn first aid
A first aid kit is a tool to save lives, but any tool is only as good as the person using it.
First aid kits and practical skills come together. This means that learning the proper ways use first aid supplies can protect yourself and others.
First aid skills are easy to learn through formal; training and certification. In a first aid class, you can learn how to perform CPR, operate an AED, apply a tourniquet and control bleeding, and use the contents of a first aid kit.
While it is important to have a first aid kit at home, it is also vital to have first aid training to use these emergency supplies.
With proper preparation, having a storm safety plan, and learning first aid can protect you and your family in severe weather emergencies.
Learn first aid today and be ready to act in times of disaster.