Take precautions

To enable fast action in an emergency, draw a map of your property and clearly mark the location of your electrical switchboard, natural gas connection or tanks, water supply, and solar inverter, and keep this with your Household Emergency Plan.

Remember to turn off power at the main switch in your switchboard. Two separate inspections must occur on a flood-affected property before power can be reconnected to your property; one by your electricity provider and another by a licensed electrician who will inspect and test household wiring.

If the water supply system has been flooded, assume it is contaminated. Damage to water pipes is reduced when depressurised. Shove a towel down into the water bowel and weigh that down with a sand bag or brick, to reduce contamination of floodwater by untreated sewage.

Turn off your gas supply or gas cylinders. Do not attempt to use gas appliances if your property has been inundated. Any gas installation affected by floodwaters must be checked by a licensed gasfitter, at your expense, before the gas supply can be restored. Your flood insurance might cover the expense. The operator should replace flood-affected regulators or meters that form part of the gas network.

If your solar system is at risk of being subjected to storm damage this is what you should do.

Your solar power system should shut down if mains power is turned off. However, you can manually turn off the solar power system by following the shutdown procedure listed on or near your solar inverter or meter box. Do not attempt to turn the solar power system on when floods have receded. Call your installer, explain the situation and ask them to recommission the system. Or call your licensed electrical contractor. The inverter will need to be replaced if it has been submerged.

Do not attempt to approach your solar power system or attempt to turn it off if any of the components are flooded or wet, as this could cause a lethal electric shock.

In the event your property is affected by storms and floodwaters and you lose mains supply (grid supply) to your house, your photovoltaic array power system is designed to cut out immediately. Do not attempt to turn your inverter back on. If you wish to manually shut down your inverter, please read the instructions located on or near the inverter. If you need to go onto your roof during a storm, stay well clear of the panels and associated wiring, because the panels will continue to produce power event though the mains supply is off.

Only allow licensed electricians to access the switchboard or electrical equipment that has been affected by floods or damaged by storms. If in doubt please do not put your life in danger and leave well alone.

Any outdoor furniture, boats, caravans, bicycles, ornaments, pot plants, gas tanks, drums, market umbrellas, swings, lawnmowers, garden tools, garbage bins, large toys and the countless small items which accumulate should be secured or stored in the garage, garden shed or in your home. Strong winds can pickup and hurl items through windows, doors and garage doors, destroying the external barrier protection your family. Glass breakage is particularly dangerous and most windows and doors are not tempered safety glass, particularly in older homes.

If you have a swimming pool, remove the pool cover to avoid the cover damage during heavy downpours. If there's no safe place to store garbage bins, simply fill them with water.

Caravans are necessarily of lightweight construction with flat sides, which makes them susceptible to being blow over during high winds, or damaged by flying debris. Use   chassis and roof tie-downs to prevent your caravan being blown over. The most effective roof tie-down is a strong net firmly fixed at ground level that passes over the van roof, which might also protect your van from flying debris.

If you store your boat at home, make sure it's weighed down and anchored securely to the ground, to avoid damage to buildings or fences.

Have tarps and ropes ready in the event of roof damage.

If your home has sustained roof damage, someone will need to temporarily fix a tarpaulin with ropes to prevent further water or wind damage, until your roof can be repaired permanently. Check whom in your street or community can provide tarpaulins.

Tarpaulin is a durable, water proof, material that can be used for many things inside and outside of the average home. While many people are used to seeing tarpaulin used during home or business renovations, this handy material can be used in emergency situations to make the home safe. Tarpaulins are costly to purchase, heavy, hard to handle and need regular maintenance.

First, call the SES on 132 500, tell them about the damage to your house, and ask them if they can provide emergency repair. The State Emergency Service (SES) comprises volunteers and staff who provide a response capability within each local government area. SES responders are trained on how to safely fix tarpaulins to damaged roofs.

Then, contact your household insurance company. 

Tarp Hire can take the hard work out of tarps, especially in an emergency situation such as storm damage to a property. You could can hire a tarp from Tarp Hire 1300 133 844. However, if your roof has been damaged, it's likely that many homes in your area have been affected and demand will be high. Households that are self-sufficient will fair better, so consider purchasing your own. Tarp Hire has more than 400 tarps in stock and all of their tarpaulins are made of strong and durable high quality PVC. They provide a rapid service and are able to supply tarps 24 hours a day, seven days a week.   

If the safest place for you to be during a storm is to 'shelter-in-place', whether that's at home, work, or school, the strongest room will provide the best protection from falling debris. The strongest room in the house is usually the smallest room, on ground level, without external windows and the safest place to shelter during severe storms.

During a storm, stay well away from glass doors and window, in case flying debris crashes through the glass. Securely lock external windows and doors to prevent water entering and intense winds damaging inside your house.