Parts of Australia are particularly susceptible to storms during summer months, with Queensland and the Northern Territory especially necessitating precautions. Both property owners and managers need to avoid the potential of damage created by weather related events, and the following insurance woes.
The solutions of course start with storm water design, properties that have sufficient run-off capabilities will be much less likely to suffer the adverse effects of events like flooding. However, there are things to look out for that are applicable no matter what storm water design you have in place. Wind can be an influence that requires other forms of preparation to avoid damaging effects. Ensuring that loose items such as outdoor furniture are properly fixed where possible, and that debris, rubbish, and lighter objects such as unstable plant pots are kept clear of common areas, will prevent many hazards that extreme winds pose. Both residents and property owners should be versed in the specific features and associated risks of their properties. Owners and managers should maintain the storm water structures that they are responsible for. Ground floors are of course particularly susceptible to flood damage, and in areas of particular risk storm water structures can provide solutions that should not be overlooked.
High rise buildings come with their own risks, particularly from wind and often from items such as balcony furniture and fittings. Tenants should be appraised of recommended preparations in the case of a storm warning, including retrieval of items indoors. Storm shutters should be advised where appropriate. Maintenance and up-keep should be regular, and usage instruction given to tenants who are unfamiliar with them. Safety glass is also recommended for windows that are vulnerable due to location in relation to prevailing wind direction.
Whilst these practical steps, from storm water designs, to structural considerations, to practical habits, are all recommended in high risk storm areas, there are occasions where damage will occur regardless of precautions taken. It is important therefore for owners, managers, and tenants to all remain fully appraised of the current insurance schemes available. The majority of policies will cover the entire structure, as well as fixed furniture such as cupboards situated within the structure. This will not include items such as carpeting and personal belongings. It is important to research what is available and ensure the policy fits the needs of the client. While a property owner may find an example like the one previously mentioned suitable, a tenant probably will not.