From May to October each year, severe storms and heavy rain can cause major destruction to the southern half of Western Australia.
Storms are the most common natural hazard in Australia and unfortunately, they can be wildly unpredictable, however, there are a few simple steps you can take to help protect your house, car and family.
Before storm season
1. Trim trees and shrubs
Clear any trees, branches and other foliage from around your house to prevent them from falling on your roof or car or clogging gutters. Dispose in your garden waste recycling bin.
2. Clear your gutters, down pipes and drains
Blockages can cause rainwater to overflow into your house’s roof cavity and cause a leaky roof or water damage.
3. Check your roof for signs of damage
A damaged or leaking roof can cause lots of problems. It’s important to check your roof at least once a year looking out for things such as broken tiles/cracked sheets and signs of moisture (mould, grime, algae). Don’t forget to check the insulation inside the roof also. Fix small issues and problems before they become bigger (and more expensive!).
Make sure your fence is in good condition; check for holes, rust, unstable posts and sheets and have these repaired or replaced. It’s also wise to avoid leaning heavy objects against your fence and remove any large plants or trees that may be leaning on your fence too.
5. Secure loose objects outdoors
Check for any loose objects on your property such as furniture, play equipment etc. and either store them indoors or tie them down. This will help minimise the risk of items being blown around causing damage to your house, power lines and surrounding properties.
6. Create an emergency kit
Power outages can be caused by storms so it’s a good idea to have an emergency kit ready to go. Pop in a torch with spare batteries, a first aid kit and a power bank to charge phones and other devices.
7. Review your home and contents insurance policy
Make sure you’re adequately covered so you’re not left out of pocket if you do experience storm damage. Our team are happy to help, call us on 13 17 03 to chat or manage your policy anytime via myRAC.
8. Take photos of your home and car
It’s a good idea to take photos of the interior and exterior of your home and car before storm season in case you need to make an insurance claim.
6-24 hours out from a storm
1. Keep your pets safe
It’s natural for pets to feel frightened during storms, if they’re usually kept outdoors, consider a small, safe space indoors like a laundry, toilet or garage that they can stay in until the storm passes.
2. Move your car under shelter
If possible, move your car under shelter; avoid parking your car under or near large trees as branches can fall and damage your car.
3. Check doors and windows
Check that all external doors and windows are securely closed.
During a storm
Be sure to stay indoors when a storm hits and keep an eye on electrical appliances. If there is lightning or you’ve lost power, carefully turn off and unplug the appliances; move them to a higher spot in your house if flood waters are expected. Refer to Western Power’s outages map to check outage details and estimated power restoration times.
If you experience major damage such as a collapsed roof or ceiling and need urgent assistance, contact the State Emergency Service (SES). They can help with temporary emergency repairs.
If you’re driving and conditions are dangerous, pull over to a safe location away from trees and powerlines and turn on your hazard lights. Wait until the storm passes before taking off, check our tips for driving during stormy weather.
After a storm
When it is safe to do so, check your home and property for damage. If you have experienced storm damage, take photos as they may be needed for insurance claims. Avoid undertaking repairs yourself as it can cause further damage and it may not be covered under your insurance policy.
If you notice damaged or fallen power lines in your area, keep your distance, at least 8 metres, check that no one is in immediate danger (call 000 if required) and contact Western Power immediately, they will make the area safe.
In case of an emergency
Critical assistance: State Emergency Services (SES) 132 500
Weather warnings: Bureau of Meteorology bom.gov.au or 1300 659 213
Road conditions: Main Roads 138 138
Damaged power lines: Western Power 13 13 51
Emergencies only: Police, Fire or Ambulance 000
Vehicle breakdown: RAC Roadside Assistance 13 11 11
Have you experienced storm damage?
We’re here to help you get back on your feet after a destructive storm. Submit a claim easily at any time through myRAC or alternatively call us on 13 17 03.
Download a copy of the fact sheet (PDF 680KB)
Last updated May 2023