A house destroyed by a storm at Woodburn in November 2012.
A house destroyed by a storm at Woodburn in November 2012. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Prepare your home and business for onset of storm season

THE North Coast's subtropical climate means this area is prone to unpredictable weather events ranging from severe storms to heavy rainfall.

As we approach the onset of storm season, preparing your home and business will help minimise the damage, maintain your safety, and provide peace of mind when you most need it.

Buildings in this region tend to deteriorate over time because of exposure to the harsh sun, driving rain and high winds.

Regular maintenance not only increases their structural integrity, it also reduces the likelihood of them being damaged in a storm.

"The most important thing to do right now is clear gutters of leaves and debris because the number one issue we come across is water leaks caused by blocked gutters," local SES volunteer Jim Fuggle said.

"Even if you've recently checked them, check again."

"While you're there, check your roof tiles for cracks and the tin gutters for holes."

Securing loose items like outdoor furniture is also an effective way to prevent damage to your property from wind gusts that can reach as high as 100km.

"Trampolines are a classic, so make sure they're safely secured," Mr Fuggle said.

"The safety netting act just like sails; I've seen one blown 40-metres down the road."

Darren Paxton from Arcbuild Insurance has seen the devastating effects natural disasters like storms can have on property.

Mr Paxton's Ewingsdale company is in the insurance restoration industry, having re-built hundreds of homes and businesses throughout Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

"We've seen everything from broken windows to homes flooded over their rooftops," said Mr Paxton, who monitors storm activity on an hourly basis via automated alerts from the Bureau of Meteorology.

"My advice during peak storm activity is to seek cover away from windows and glass doors if you're inside, pull over to a safe place away from trees and power lines if you're driving, and always follow SES precautions where required."

* This report appeared as part of an advertising feature in The Northern Star



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