Prepare for severe storms

There are two types of severe storms that we experience in Queensland - thunderstorms and land gales.

Thunderstorms can produce hail, wind gusts, flash floods, tornadoes, and lightning that can cause death, injury, and damage to property. Thunderstorms are more common and generally more dangerous than land gales. Land gales are simply gale force winds that occur over the land.

Make sure that your Emergency Plan and Emergency Kit are up-to-date and that each member of your family or household knows what to do in an emergency. Remind everyone about the location of your Emergency Kit


What you can do to prepare for severe storm season

  • Be aware of severe storm patterns in your area by signing up to Early Warning Network. You'll receive a free phone call or text (SMS message) from your local emergency authority, if they're part of the Network to alert you of severe weather in your area.
  • Trim trees, remove overhanging branches and clear gutters and downpipes, clear yard of loose materials and rubbish
  • Check your roof is in good repair. Secure loose roof tiles or sheets of iron.
  • Protect sky lights with wire mesh and fit glass windows and doors with shutters or insect screens
  • Prepare a Household Emergency Kit and make sure all family members know where the kit is located
  • Check boats are securely moored, or protected on land, and
  • Check home insurance is current and adequate. Dour your insurance cover the cost of cleaning up and disposing of building debris? 


What can you do when a severe storm approaches

  • Listen to a local ABC radio station for severe storm advice and warnings
  • Shelter and secure animals
  • Secure loose garden furniture, garden umbrellas, large toys in the garage, garden shed, or inside
  • Park vehicles under solid shelter or cover with firmly tied tarpaulins or old blankets
  • Secure all external doors and windows and draw curtains
  • Keep valuables, medications, spare clothing in plastic bags, and your Emergency Kit handy, and
  • Disconnect all electrical items, external TV and radio aerials, and computer modems.


 What can you do when a severe storm strikes

  • Listen to your portable radio for severe storm updates
  • Stay inside and shelter well clear of windows, doors and skylights
  • If the building starts to break up, shelter in the strongest part (cellar, internal room, hallway or built-in wardrobe) under a mattress, doona or a strong table or bench
  • If outdoors, seek solid enclosed shelter
  • If driving, stop clear of trees, power lines and streams, and
  • Don't use a fixed telephone during a severe storm due to lightning danger.


 What can you do after a severe storm has hit

  • Listen to your local ABC radio station for official advices and warnings
  • Check for structural property damage and cover with plastic sheeting
  • For emergency assistance contact the SES or contact your local Council. These numbers are listed on your Emergency Plan in your Emergency Kit
  • Beware of fallen powerlines and trees, damaged buildings, flooded watercourses, and check your neighbours are safe


Ensure all family members take care removing branches and debris and avoid concealed fallen powerlines. If you discover fallen powerlines, keep everyone well clear and call your electricity provider. Check the powerlines passing your house and going to your house are securely in place.

 Thunderstorms and lightning
A lightning strike to the electricity network can result in damage to electrical equipment and infrastructure, bring down power lines, and interrupt power supply. If you see fallen powerlines, stay well away and call your electricity provided.

Fit your home with surge protectors to protect people and expensive equipment. Before the storm, disconnect the external aerial and unplug power cords to computers, phones, radios and TVs. Disconnect computer modems and power cords.

Don't use your fixed landline phone during a thunderstorm, because when lightening strikes nearby, the phone system might become highly charged. If you need to make an emergency phone call use a cordless phone of mobile phone.