Ready or not, storm season is upon us and it is imperative that residents prepare their properties for unexpected winds, hail and flash flooding. Unit owners face unique considerations when it comes to storm preparedness and insurance claims, so understanding their body corporate responsibilities will help stop potential damages and unnecessary repair costs to their property and common areas.
Every year thousands of dollars are spent repairing homes that have been damaged in severe storms but thankfully there are a range of precautions residents can take to eliminate potential hazards and ensure a safer environment for all.
Some common mistakes residents make is preparing balconies and outdoor areas but forgetting to check the basement and gutters, which are equally important considerations.
Also, if heavy rainfall is expected, residents should remember to park away from low lying areas, and move storage that may be prone to flooding. Strong winds can move even large items such as outdoor furniture, pot plants and trampolines, so residents should secure any items that may break windows, or destroy roofs and cars.
Queensland experiences a variety of extreme weather conditions which can have catastrophic outcomes if buildings have not been properly prepared so Archers have prepared some key tips to help residents stay prepared:
• Secure your property – ensure items like furniture and pot plants are securely fastened to balconies and verandas
• Fix broken items – repair any broken windows, latches or doors to avoid further damage
• Prune or remove branches that are encroaching close to the building
• Check your insurance policy – confirm you are covered for contents insurance, as the building’s strata insurance does not cover the personal belongings in your unit
• Prepare common areas – this includes moving items that may be in an area that is prone to flooding, and securing outdoor furniture and pool equipment
• Study the building’s evacuation plan so that you are prepared should you need to vacate the building quickly
• Update your body corporate manager about your property’s damage and any damage you notice on common property as soon as possible.
This article was contributed by Grant Mifsud – Partner, Archers the Strata Professionals