Tips to ensure your body corporate is prepared for this storm season

Property ObserverJanuary 12, 20150 min read

GUEST OBSERVATION

Last month, Brisbane's storm activity saw insurance companies clock over 2,000 calls in the first couple of hours of the storm taking place. What followed were insurance companies scrambling to process the claims as quickly and efficiently as possible before the next round of storms begin.

This storm season, it's more important than ever to make sure that you are well prepared. The Bureau of Meteorology has predicted that Queensland and New South Wales will be hit with numerous rounds of storms with the potential for very damaging results.

Here are a few tips to make sure you're ready to tackle this storm season:

  • Make sure all gutters are cleaned, roofs have no current damage and that any damage not caused by storms have been repaired.
  • Ensure that your body corporate's current insurance policy is up to date.
  • Double check what is included and excluded in your policy and that the unit block is adequately covered for storm damage. If there are areas you believe should be improved or extra cover added make a list and be sure to bring it up with your Committee members.
  • Secure all loose fittings on common property, such as umbrellas, plants, lounge chairs and tables.
  • Check your own personal insurance policy for what you are covered for should storm damage occur. Remember: your own personal belongings are not covered by your body corporate's insurance.
  • Make sure that signs detailing evacuation plans are placed around the complex and that every tenant and owner is aware of the procedures.
  • Always make sure that the trees are maintained and trimmed. This reduces the risk of debris flying around during a storm.

It is recommended that you have an emergency kit, which could contain the following:

  • Sand bags in case of any flash flooding.
  • Heavy-duty black garbage bags and masking tape for bordering up any broken or damaged windows to prevent further damage to your property inside.
  • Torch and radio.
  • A list of radio stations which announce emergency information as well as a list of emergency numbers and hotlines.
  • A "go bag" should you have to leave in a hurry. This could contain items such as your most important documents (passports, birth certificates etc.) as well as some clothes. Included in this should be a contingency plan of where you are going to go should you have to evacuate your house.

After the storm, it is crucial that you stay away from any fallen power lines and flooded roads and do a check of your property, complex and common areas for any damage. The committee should be notified of any damage found for further action.

Rebecca Kennedy is senior tender analyst for Strata Match.

Strata Match is a corporate advisory service, providing committees and owners with a transparent tendering process to facilitate the selection and transition of body corporate buildings from one strata manager to another.

Property Observer

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Insurance
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