MAINTAINING A HOME
How to prepare your home for storm and cyclone season
09 November 2022
The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) predicts an average of 11 tropical cyclones each year, with four of those crossing the coast, during the Australian November-April cyclone season. Combining strong winds, heavy rain and flying debris, cyclones can be devastating. Preparing your home ahead of time may help reduce damage, lessening the financial and emotional impact of cyclones and major storms.
Here’s some practical storm and cyclone preparation measures you can take now.
Plan ahead with a checklist and the Suncorp Insurance App
When there’s a cyclone or major storm warning in your area, it’s important to know what to do and how to prepare. Having a step-by-step checklist can help you and your family plan ahead.
Don’t forget to download and set up the Suncorp Insurance App ahead of time. If you need to make a claim after a storm or cyclone, you can upload photos and documents while tracking the claim’s progress, all from the app.
You can also use the Suncorp Insurance App to get up-to-date weather alerts, so you'll always be prepared.
Making your roof more secure
For expert advice on improving the safety of your roof, chat with your builder. They can let you know if you need an upgrade or even a complete roof replacement. However, it helps to understand the different roof components, such as the external cladding like tiles, iron, steel and flashings, and other key elements.
Ridge caps on tiled roofs
Ridge caps are the triangular-shaped tiles or sheeting covering the joint where two planes of a roof meet. They help prevent rainwater and debris from getting into the lower levels of the roof.
Roof sarking is the layer of protection placed underneath roof tiles or sheeting. It helps to create condensation control and prevent wind-driven rain and dust from entering the home.
Screw and strap connections in the roof
Roof connections in older homes can be strengthened by upgrading or replacing how the framing is held together. New straps or screws can be applied to any of the following:
- Roof cladding to the battens.
- Batten and collar tie connections to the rafters.
- Rafters or trusses to the top plate of the wall framing.
Protect your windows with cyclone shutters and guards
Shutters and guards fixed to the outside of your home are designed to protect from the impact of storms and cyclones. They help reduce the amount of wind and water getting inside your home.
A casement window is attached to its frame by one or more vertical side hinges and opens like a door. If upgrading to keyed locks or bolts, they’re usually fitted to the casement with a bolt that locks into the top or bottom of the frame.
Make sure your roller door is properly braced
Any roller door manufactured after 2012 must meet the necessary bracing requirements. If your roller door is pre-2012, it’s easy to strengthen it with aftermarket bracing.
Is your shed freestanding or anchored to a concrete slab?
It’s important to know the difference.
If anchored to a slab, the shed is more likely to be protected against strong winds. Also check whether corner posts have been set into the slab or if join brackets in the bottom corners of the shed are bolted to the slab with anchor bolts (U-bolts, sleeve or dyna bolts).
Once you know if the shed is free standing or part of the slab, you need to figure out its wind rating. Look for company stickers or branding on the shed, then check with the council for building approval records to help you determine the wind rating.
You can buy aftermarket cyclone kits to reinforce your shed, helping to reduce the risk of damage during high winds. These reinforcements may be stronger joins or additional support beams installed along the roof and walls.
Found an issue?
Get your insurance in order
If you have a Suncorp Home and Contents Insurance policy, you can check online or download the Suncorp Insurance App to your phone to make sure it's current. Your Certificate of Insurance includes your policy details, including your amount of cover, cover type and any optional covers you’ve selected.
Not a Suncorp customer? Check out our Home Insurance policies.
- Supporting customers through flood and storm recovery
- How to make a claim after a storm or cyclone
- 5 sustainable housing materials for a climate-resistant home
Insurance issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as Suncorp Insurance. Limits, conditions and exclusions apply. Emergency funds are an advance for eligible customers, deducted from the overall claim. Read the Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance. The Target Market Determination is also available. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situation or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.
The information is intended to be of general nature only. Subject to any rights you may have under any law, we do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss or damage, including loss of business or profits or any other indirect loss, incurred as a result of reliance upon the information. Please make your own enquiries.