Thousands of Queenslanders at risk ahead of storm season


Feature

Thousands of new Queensland residents and tourists could be severely underprepared as the state braces for storm season.

Suncorp Insurance spokesperson, Josh Cooney, said new residents and tourists in the north of the state were particularly at risk, with many having never experienced our unique summer storms and cyclones.

“Unfortunately, our state doesn’t always live up to the ‘beautiful one day, perfect the next’ tagline and new Queensland migrants and tourists may be unsure what to do to prepare for storm and cyclone season,” Mr Cooney said.

“While personal safety should always be their number one concern, preparing their home and property adequately is also vitally important.”

According to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 24,000 people moved to Queensland from interstate in the 12 months to March this year, and in 2016-17 net overseas migration increased to 35,199. 

“That’s a significant number of people who may soon experience their first Queensland weather event and also a timely reminder to those born and bred here to dust off their storm and cyclone preparation plans.”

Complacency continues to be a significant issue in north Queensland, with new research from James Cook University and Suncorp revealing that while residents understand cyclones are a threat, they may not understand the potential damage that can be caused.

The research found that 90% of respondents believe damage from a Category 1-2 cyclone was very low to somewhat low. Further, almost half (45%) of respondents believe damage from a Category 3-4 cyclone is also very low to somewhat low.

“Although TC Marcia crossed the coast as a Category 5 system near Shoalwater Bay, the wind speeds in Yeppoon were Category 2-3 and in Rockhampton Category 1-2 with severe wind-related damages in several areas,” Mr Cooney said. 

“These findings demonstrate the level of complacency in some of our communities, with many still believing that ‘it won’t happen to me’.

“Our data shows nine out of 10 cyclone-related claims can be avoided with proper preparation and this is key to ensuring families and communities stay safe this storm season.”

Storm season checklist:

  • Check your roof for loose tiles or uplifted corners of corrugated iron. 
  • Check gutters and downpipes and remove debris. 
  • Trim overgrown trees and branches near your home.
  • Pack your Emergency Kit - and make sure it includes items such as a torch, batteries, AM radio, first aid kit, water, food and copies of important documents, and keep a list of emergency contact numbers handy.
  • Ensure you home, contents and car insurance is sufficient for your needs and up to date.