Staying safe in a storm or flood

‘A dark and stormy night’ may be the classic way to start a novel, but wild weather can cause havoc at any time of the day or night – whether it’s high winds or heavy rain. We’ve put together a few tips to help keep you and your property safe.

Preparing for wild weather - get ready before a flood or storm

Looking after yourself

Looking after your property

Prepare enough drinking water to last 5 days and around 1 litre of water per person for washing food, cooking, washing dishes and bathing.

Secure outdoor furniture, barbecues and trampolines, or move them into a garage.

Ensure you have a supply of tinned and non-perishable food (pasta, rice, crackers, etc).

Unplug appliances where you can to avoid electrical power surges.

Make sure you know where your first-aid kit, any prescribed medications, a torch and spare torch batteries, matches, rubber gloves and disinfectant are.

Pull curtains, blinds or drapes down over windows to prevent injury being caused by shattering or flying glass.

Consider preparing in advance by packing an easy home emergency kit for every member of the household.

If it is safe to do so, place a tarpaulin over any areas of the roof or ceiling where water may leak in.

During a flood or storm - tips to help you through

Looking after yourself

Looking after your property

Make sure you, your family and your pets are safe and in a dry area.

Turn off your electricity if it is safe to do so, to avoid short-circuits.

Tune into local radio and keep updated via any government or public health websites and social media.

If there is water in your light fittings, turn your lights off and call an electrician when it is safe to do so.

If your vehicle becomes submerged in flood water, do not attempt to turn on the ignition or drive it.

If the floors are wet or water is coming in, move furniture to an upstairs or dry room if possible.

Often during a storm or flood, you may not know the full extent of damage to your home, car or contents, especially if you need to leave your property. If your home becomes uninhabitable and you’re an AA Insurance customer, contact us and we can help to arrange temporary accommodation for you, your family and your pets.

Take photos of any damage caused as this can be useful to confirm what needs replacing when you claim on your insurance later.

After a storm or flood – how to handle the clean up

Looking after yourself

Looking after your property

If you have had to leave your home, take care when returning to your property and do not attempt to inspect or repair any damage until it is safe to do so. Remember, some damage might require professional help – contact your insurer to check what is safe to clean yourself.

If your power is working, start drying out your home and reducing mould by turning on any air-conditioners, dehumidifiers, ventilation system, or fans.

Check carefully underfoot before you walk around your house as after a flood the floor might be slippery and covered with dangerous debris.

Contact us or call your insurance company as soon as possible to report any damage to your property, especially if you need emergency repairs.

Wear protective clothing (gloves, mask and long trousers) when going back into your home to help protect against potentially hazardous materials.

Discard any food that has been submerged in a flood (even canned goods) and throw away wooden or plastic cooking utensils, baby bottle teats and dummies if they have come into contact with floodwater as these cannot be safely cleaned. AA Insurance customers can also claim up to $1,000 for spoiled food (review our policy documents for more information here).

Mould, cleaning chemicals and sewage from stormwater can be dangerous for anyone with asthma, allergies or compromised immune systems so keep anyone with these conditions away from the house if possible.

For more great tips on how to prepare for, manage through and recover from a flood or storm, check out the following resources, used to help compile this blog:

And whatever the weather predicted for your region, it’s a good idea to regularly check over your policy documents (here for AA Insurance customers) to see what you’re covered for and update your cover if needed. Make sure you know how to make a claim if you need to, and try to keep some form of proof of purchase if possible, ideally outside of your home or backed up electronically. If you don’t have home and contents insurance sorted or can’t remember if you’re insured get a quote now.

Any questions?

Now’s a great time to review your insurance. We recommend checking your details are up to date and ensuring the policy and cover you’ve chosen is right for you and your insurance needs.

If you have any questions about your insurance, need to update your AA Insurance policies or would like a quote, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re open from 8am to 8pm weekdays and from 8am to 6pm weekends and public holidays.

This blog provides general information only and is not intended to be a recommendation or personalised financial advice. Excesses, terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply to AA Insurance Limited’s policies. Please check the policy wording for details of cover. The provision of cover is subject to the underwriting criteria that apply at the time.

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