Debbie leaves a powerful message
12 April 2017
Attributed to Matt Pearson, EGM Property and Specialty Claims
Regions across Queensland and northern New South Wales have certainly been reminded of Mother Nature’s fury over the past two weeks. As predicted, Cyclone Debbie made her mark on north Queensland, causing tens of millions of dollars’ worth of damage and leaving thousands of residents to deal with the aftermath. As regions south of Debbie’s landfall face torrential rain and record-breaking water levels, it’s a timely reminder to all residents across the state on the importance of knowing what to do if faced by a severe weather event.
Preparation is key. As we know, weather can turn rather quickly without much notice, so it’s good practice to have a few essentials in place. An emergency kit, equipped with a torch, batteries and radio is imperative and if possible, remove any debris from around the yard and secure or move loose items.
During and after an event, safety is always the number one priority. We all know the ‘if its flooded forget it’ tag line. While the message is simple, the direction is important. Floodwater is extremely dangerous. It may be deeper and faster flowing than it appears and often contains hidden debris or even animals (remember the bull shark which washed ashore last week).
It’s also important not to go back into your home until you have been given the all-clear from the authorities that it’s safe to do so. We appreciate this can be a very difficult experience for those severely affected, so it’s important to get in touch with your insurer as quickly as possible to start the claims process. Depending on your insurer, your details should be on file so you shouldn’t need to be at home or have a copy of your policy to lodge your claim.
It’s strongly recommended you start the clean-up process as soon as possible. There’s a misconception you shouldn’t touch anything until an insurance assessor visits your house, but this is simply not true. Leaving wet carpets, clothes and spoiled food in a house is a health risk because it can cause mould. Remove wet contents out of the house and keep your home as ventilated as possible. If you remove carpet, keep a sample to help your insurer replace it. Take photos of damage and write down the serial or model number of items which need to be thrown out. You may be eligible for financial relief support under your insurance policy and the Queensland Government is also offering disaster funding relief to eligible residents.