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A Bunnings team member on a ladder, clearing roof guttering of leaves and other debris

Overview

During a cyclone or storm, your home is at risk of wind damage and even flooding. However, there are plenty of things you can do to help protect it. We’ll show you some of the ways to get your home ready and minimise the damage.

Steps

1Have a plan and pack an emergency kit

Make sure you prepare before the cyclone season and create a plan. There are great resources available on your local emergency services web page including what you need to pack to look after your family and get ready.

2Clean roof and gutters

It's important to clean your gutters and roof to get rid of any leaves that have built up. If your gutters are full of leaves during heavy rain, then the water gets dammed up and can flow into the walls and ceilings of your house. It can also get very heavy and pull the gutters from your house, which are expensive to replace.

Get up your ladder, put on your gloves and clean the gutters out with your dustpan and brush. Also hose down your roof to remove any leaves or debris that could get washed down into them.
A Bunnings team member on a ladder, clearing roof guttering of leaves and other debris

3Patch-up your roof

Patch up any holes in your roof and seal up any gaps or cracks to keep the rain out. If you have a corrugated iron roof, tighten up any bolts to secure the roof sheet so they don't fly away in heavy winds.
Seams in a corrugated iron roof being sealed to prevent stormwater leaks

4Set up a water barrier

To stop water flooding into your driveway, you can set up a barrier using a tarpaulin and sandbags. To make the sandbags, fill up some plastic bags with sand and tie the ends. Make about four and evenly space them out on the edge of your tarp. Then fold the tarp over them. Now that you have your barrier, line it up at the entrance of your driveway to stop any rainwater or flood water running in. If you have a drainage grate, make sure you line the tarp behind it so the water can still drain off. If you don't have one, then angle the tarp to guide the water to where you want it.
A deployed water barrier constructed from sandbags and tarp, at the entrance of a driveway

5Put outdoor furniture inside

If you're expecting heavy winds then gather up anything that's loose outside, like furniture and garden tools and bring it inside. Loose items can be picked up by the wind and become dangerous projectiles or simply get lost.
A Bunnings team member bringing a black outdoor chair inside the home

6Close and secure windows

Ensure that all cyclone screens are tightly fixed, and cover any open windows, doors, and ventilation openings with boards if possible. To prevent windblown rain from entering your house, firmly attach plastic sheets to the interior of your windows.

7Use a generator

If you lose power during a cyclone or storm, then turn off your mains switch in your fuse box and use your generator for auxiliary power. It's important to turn off your mains switch first because when the power comes back on, you can get a power surge, which may damage any electrical items.

Turn off your electrical items as well and shut down your solar panels before you switch on your generator. Once the generator is up and running, turn on your electrical items slowly. If you do it too quick, then you can kill the generator.
Closeup of the control panel of a portable power generator

8Stay in the bathroom

The best place to wait out a storm is in your bathroom. It's generally the smallest room in the house and usually the safest. Fill up a container with fresh drinking water in case your water supply gets cut off. You'll also need water that's separate from your drinking water, so fill up your bath in case you need to wash your hands or use that water to flush the toilet.

Secure any important documents or valuables in a safe place and keep that with you in the bathroom. Anything from insurance documents to family photos. Also bring I a mattress to get underneath it for protection until the storm is over.
A Bunnings team member taking cover under a mattress in the bathroom

9Visit your local authority website

For more information about being prepared, visit your local authority website:

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.