What to do when a storm damages your home
Safety & Hazards
The first thing to remember when a storm damages your home is that
->>> Safety is Paramount <<<-
Ok so what repairs can you do safely? Well before you get the ladder out and try to patch up the roof yourself you need to assess the risks. What risks? Well lets address the main ones now.
During Melbourne storms wind speeds regularly exceed 110Km/hr, this is strong enough to dismantle structures, tear colourbond sheets from your roof and uproot trees. In the event that your roof is damaged in a high wind event it is critical that you don’t attempt to fix it yourself. Wait until storm conditions have subsided and then seek professional assistance.
Recent meteorological data has confirmed that ‘flash flooding’ and heavy sudden unpredicted downfalls are becoming more common in Melbourne due to the destabilisation of weather conditions from carbon fuelled climate change. It is not uncommon that heavy rain scenarios can deliver over 40mm in 30 minutes to an hour. Such conditions make drainage extremely critical. If your house drainage or adjacent street drainage becomes blocked then flooding will quickly ensue. Don’t try to cross flood waters, stay safe and call for help.
It is not uncommon for a large hail storm in Melbourne to dump down 500,000 Tonnes of ice in a small period of time. It goes without saying that this large mass of rock solid ice falling from the sky at high speed can be incredibly dangerous and destructive. Even more so for automobile commuters. So in heavy hail conditions stay indoors or pull over, where damage to your home occurs call a plumber to check what to do and if its safe to do so.
Attempting to get onto your roof during a lightning storm is extremely dangerous, and could result in death, even if you wear insulating safety equipment because a direct lightning strike will render it useless. A lightning bolt typically delivers greater than 100MVolts DC at 10KAmps, if this is applied across the heart it will trigger Ventricular Fibrillation and is almost certainly lethal.
The use of a backup generator can be very handy in the event of a blackout. In the situation that a critical medical device requires a constant electricity supply then a backup generator is absolutely necessary. Most Australian generators run on petrol and are 2 or 4 stroke engines with inverters on the output side that supply 240V AC, check the power output of the generator in Watts to determine how much power the generator is rated to supply. Do not plug your generator into an outlet power socket in your home, instead power your devices and appliances directly from the generator or through a power board.
It is important to stay calm in the event of a blackout, exercise caution and adhere to safety measures. It is recommended to use battery powered devices where possible, other solutions may include candles, gas burners or camping equipment.
The VIC State Emergency Service is there to help so if you’re in real urgent need these guys should be your first port of call. It is important to report road flooding, power lines that are down or loose live wires, fallen trees, as well as other storm related damage and safety hazards. The phone number is 132 500.
How a plumber can help
Emergency plumbing services can safely patch up your leaking or damaged roof in the middle of the night in the middle of the storm. So if the SES cant get there then an emergency 24 hour plumber is your best bet. When a big storm hits, the damage is widespread and the demand on public emergency services and insurers is great. So what if the SES are swamped and your insurer cant send out a repairman for days, leaving you stuck with a hole in your roof causing more damage, well again, call an emergency plumbing service they will get you back on your feet and your insurer will most likely cover the cost.