End of the Cyclone Season

End of the Cyclone Season

End of the Cyclone Season

We are pleased to be celebrating the end of the cyclone season. The month of May is officially the beginning of the Dry Season and hopefully the end of the adverse weather conditions. Our office is only starting to get back to normal after a very challenging start to 2018. 

yclones cause a lot of debris. Many Broome locals are no strangers to tropical storms however a lot of people living in Broome may have recently moved from down-south so they have not been through a cyclone or a wet season before. In fact they have no idea of what to expect. We acknowledge the SES who did an amazing job during the past cyclone season and we thank them for their efforts in extreme conditions 👍👍
 
This year we got the Trifecta - Cyclone Hilda, Cyclone Joyce and Cyclone Marcus plus record breaking rainfall from a severe tropical rain depression. In January 945.5mm for the month and in Feb in excess of 600 mm.  In April we had the majority of temperatures well in excess of 34 degrees so it has been a hard and difficult wet season.
 
The clean-up effort after a cyclone can take up a HUGE amount of time and can be very expensive. Many property owners are still going through the process of repairs and insurance claims. There is no such thing as a cyclone-proof house however you can reduce the likelihood of it being damaged in a cyclone so we have detailed some hard-earned advice on how to be ready for next year.  You should engage a builder to inspect your house if you have any doubts about the condition.
 
To be effective, focus on priorities. Post cyclone it is important to thoroughly assess damage and work out a strategy for recovery and improvement. Here are our suggestions: 
  1. Trees – Ensure a pre-cyclone pruning of established trees. A regular program to prune established trees meant the trunks and root systems are  robust and will weather the storm better.
  2. Fences – much of the damage to fences was caused by falling trees as well as rotted termite-damaged timbers – which may not be covered by insurance. Ensure fences are maintained and repaired when needed.
  3. Rain does not fall vertically during a cyclone - it comes in horizontally. Wind-driven water leakage can cause significant damage to walls, ceilings, carpets etc. This in turn can be disruptive and expensive to repair or replace.
  4. Owners must have building insurance and contents, tenants should have their own contents insurance. Check the fine print of your Insurance policies to ensure what items are covered or not covered.
  5. Photos of damage and debris. It’s important before the clean-up begins to have as many photos of the damage as this can be used by the insurance assessor to help support a claim.
  6. Make a list of things which are damaged and note whether you think it’s damaged beyond repair or can be repaired or cleaned.
  7. Often the power will be out for some time after a cyclone. No power means the air conditioning does not work so it will be hot, humid and tempers get frayed.  If there is a swimming pool it may start to go green - quickly.
  8. Speaking of swimming pools - empty skimmer baskets regularly;  scoop out as much loose debris and if pool is overflowing remove excess water by emptying to waste or backwashing (remember to switch off pump before backwashing/ rinsing).
  9. Shade sails – often tenants can be away on annual when a cyclone hits.  Have shade sails taken down before a cyclone hits and tenants go away on leave.
  10. If the home has not sustained structural damage and it is safe to do so, open doors and windows to let the house dry out. Mould can be an issue with the high humidity.
  11. Cyclones affect regional areas like Broome where we have limited building and repairers available locally. Getting services and tradesmen at that time of the year can be a challenge - many tradespeople are away on holiday leave.
  12. Peace of mind can be extremely valuable during such uncertain times. It never hurts to have some money squirreled away for a rainy day.
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