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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 protect it. We’ll show you how to get our home ready and minimise the damage.

Steps

1Clean 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

2Patch-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

3Set 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

4Put 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

5Use 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

6Stay 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

7Secure glass windows

To avoid windows breaking, a simple trick is to stick some masking tape on the glass in a cross shape. This will minimise the breakage so that you don't end up with glass all over your home. It's best to do it to all windows because the direction of storm winds is extremely unpredictable.
A Bunnings team member taping a cross over indoor windows with masking tape

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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.