SUMMER is storm season.

In Mackay, cyclone season is from December through to April, according to the Bureau of Meteorology,

So that makes November, the perfect month for making sure you’re prepared for storm season.

>> READ MORE: FIVE HOME MAINTENANCE JOBS TO TACKLE RIGHT NOW

We can’t stop storm season but we can be prepared. And here are a few ways you can do so:

1. Clean-up

storm season

Start by doing a clean-up around your home.

Trim trees and branches around your property that could fall on your house, shed or cars

Clear gutters of leaves and check downpipes and drains for any blockages

Look for any existing roof damage

Tidy up your yard and patios securing any loose items that could be blown around

2. Get prepared

When the power is down or roads are cut off, you need access to electricity, clean water and food.

Having a generator as a back-up can give you access to power during a blackout.

But there are some important safety tips when it comes to storing and using a generator.

  • Do not run it inside your house or a closed garage
  • Have the generator running away from the home, doors and windows
  • Don’t run it in the rain
  • Don’t overload it, only use it to run essential services
  • Have a qualified electrician install a changeover switch

A changeover switch transfers electricity to your house from the power grid to a generator when an outage occurs.

These switches connected the generator directly to the house.

Barcam Electrical Services owner Meagan Waterson said ensuring you have a changeover switch installed is important as we come into summer and prepare for storm season.

“Having a backup generator to run your basic services such as the fridge, a few lights or to charge a phone is handy coming into cyclone season as we do have regular power outages.

“The changeover switch has to be installed by a licenced electrician and the generator must be stored outside in a well-ventilated area with a correct lead running into the power box.

“We can provide free quotes to do this.”

Having a store of non-perishable food items and drinking water is also a must when preparing for storm season.

Store these items out of direct sunlight but in an easy to access area in an emergency.

>> READ MORE: HOW TO GET YOUR POOL SWIM-READY

3. Survival kit

storm season

On top of back-up power, food and water, there are some other items you should have stored together in the event of a storm.

Some of these items should be purpose bought and stored in a specific storage container within easy access in the event of a storm emergency.

These include:

  • Mobile phone and charger
  • Torch and batteries
  • Medicine and first aid supplies
  • Toiletries
  • Protective clothing
  • Cash

4. Get connected

Getting connected with your neighbours and other local contacts in advance means you are prepared in the event of a storm emergency.

  • Swap phone numbers with your neighbours for in the event of an emergency
  • Find and follow Facebook pages and groups in your community to stay connected
  • Download relevant local news and government apps
  • Store critical numbers such as your children’s school in your phone

>> READ MORE: NEW STICKERS TO HELP YOU RECYCLE RIGHT

5. Make plans

storm season

During a storm emergency, there are a few things you’ll need to know and these all come down to prior planning.

Know you’re covered

Make sure your insurance is up-to-date and check you have adequate vehicle, home and contents insurance in the event of a storm.

Know your plan

Have a pre-planned emergency meeting or evacuation place and make sure everyone knows where this is. Also plan an evacuation for your pets in the event of flooding.

Know where to go for info

Know where you need to go for up-to-date correct information in the event of a storm emergency. Sources that provide information like weather warnings, storm conditions and disaster alerts. There is a list here on the Queensland Government’s Get Ready website.

From the team at Budget Guys, please get prepared and stay safe this storm season.