Australia is home to some of the most beautiful weather in the world, but also some of the most destructive. Severe storms and cyclones can be unpredictable and frequently cause widespread damage. On average, there are 10 to 13 tropical cyclones each season in the Australian region, with four typically crossing the coast annually. In 2017, Queensland’s Whitsunday Coast was hit by Category 4 Cyclone Debbie serving wind gusts up to 263 km/h and causing widespread damage from the Whitsunday Coast to Northern NSW. With extreme weather events becoming more frequent and more devastating, it’s crucial to ensure you and your home are prepared to withstand these extreme conditions. Here are some tips to make sure you and your family are ready when storm season arrives. Plan for emergencies Having an emergency plan is an important step to ensure your family is ready to cope if the weather presents a dangerous situation. Here are some key preparation points: Make sure your pantry is stocked with non-perishable food items, along with fresh drinking water A well-stocked first-aid kit, plus essential medications for those in your household, can be crucial in the event of an accident or medical emergency. Check your first aid kit is up to date with this checklist Prepare a list of emergency contacts, including SES (132 500) and Triple Zero (000) Develop an evacuation strategy, that all members of the family are aware of. Clean up your yard There are a number of small jobs that can be done around the home to prepare for storm season, including: Trim tree branches so they are well clear of your home. If the branches are near powerlines, call in a professional to do this safely Tidy up unsecured items like pool umbrellas, kids’ toys and outdoor furniture Make repairs to damaged fences, roofs and gutters Clear leaves and other debris from gutters, downpipes and stormwater drains Store any chemicals or poisons above ground level in case of flooding. Safeguard your home With high-speed gusts of wind, loose items like outdoor furniture and tree branches can become airborne and cause damage to the outside of your home. Worse yet, these wind forced projectiles could harm your loved ones. Crimsafe Cyclone Debris Screens are specially designed to protect against flying debris from wind gusts up to 392 km/h. This means they pass the highest standard for Cyclone Debris Screening required for regions C & D, withstanding impact up to 44 m/s. They also protect against damage from hail, reducing the risk of large hailstones breaking through windows.