Preparing for cyclones in Australia

Every year, Australia’s high-risk cyclone areas can expect an average of two to three cyclones to cross the coast during the November-April cyclone season.

Combining strong winds, heavy rain and flying debris, cyclones can be devastating.

Preparing your home can not only help reduce damage, it can help protect you from the financial and emotional impact of cyclones.

Developing your Emergency Action Plan

Include the entire household and children. Make sure you discuss:

  • plans for when your household members will and will not be home
  • workplace, school or apartment plans that may impact members of your household – how will you stay in touch if you’re separated and where you will meet
  • what you will do to reduce damage to your home or contents.
  • how and where:
    • you turn off power, gas and water supplies
    • valuables and important documents are stored
    • your household emergency kit is stored
  • your emergency telephone list
  • what role each family member will take during an emergency
  • what arrangements you will make for your pets to ensure they are safe with food and water
  • know where you will shelter or where to go if you need to self-evacuate

Developing your Emergency Kit

Remember, you may be alone for up to 3 days – so make sure your kit will sustain you and your household.

Prepare for disruption to power and water supplies, unreliable communication methods, injury and dangerous elements.

Emergency Kit Checklist

  • Battery-operated radio with spare batteries
  • Torch with spare batteries, candles and waterproof matches
  • Three days of non-perishable foods and a can opener
  • 10 litres of bottled water per person
  • First aid kit and manual with any essential medicines
  • A change of warm clothes for each person and closed-in shoes
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Toilet paper and essential toiletries, including sunscreen and insect repellent
  • Special needs for infants, the aged and people with disabilities
  • Money
  • Important documents (birth & marriage certificates, driver’s licence, passports, insurance policies and photos)
  • Sealable waterproof bags
  • Mobile phone, charger and power bank
  • Extra car and house keys
  • A copy of your household plan
  • Pet supplies
  • Portable cooker (if using gas remember to have spare canisters or bottles)
  • Cooking and eating utensils

Tips for kits

Store your kit in an easy to reach, dry place

Every member of your house knows where the kit is stored.

Check the contents of your kit at least once a year to ensure items still work and consumables are not past their use-by date – batteries, water and non-perishables will perish over a period of time

An emergency kit can also double as a camping kit – stock your kit at the beginning of the wet season and use it in the dry each year

When cyclones hit, your family’s safety comes first. Contact 000 in any emergency.

What to do when a cyclone watch is issued

  • Check your property for any loose material and tie down (or fill with water) any large or relatively light items such as boats and rubbish bins.
  • Fill your vehicles’ fuel tanks and jerry cans with fuel.
  • Check your emergency kit and fill any water containers you may have.
  • Ensure household members know what the strongest part of the house is and what to do in the event of a cyclone warning or evacuation.
  • Tune in to your local radio and/ or television stations for further information and warnings.
  • Check neighbours are aware of the situation and are prepared.

What to do when a cyclone warning is issued

  • Activate your household emergency plan and finalise your emergency kit.
  • Collect children from school or childcare centres and go home.
  • Park vehicles under solid shelter (handbrake on and in gear).
  • Secure outdoor furniture, garden items, caravans and boats.
  • Loose items may be locked inside.
  • Close shutters and board up or block all windows.
  • Draw curtains and secure all external doors and windows.
  • Shelter and secure pets and animals.
  • Stay tuned to your local radio/ television for further information Fill your bathtubs and buckets with water.

What to do when a cyclone strikes

  • Turn off power, gas and water supplies.
  • Disconnect all electrical appliances.
  • Stay inside your shelter area in the strongest part of your home.
  • Shift furniture and fixtures away from windows and doors.
  • Listen to your portable radio for cyclone updates. If the building starts to break up, protect yourself with mattresses, rugs and blankets under a strong table, or hold onto a solid fixture, e.g. water pipe.
  • Beware of the calm ‘eye’. If the wind drops, don’t assume the cyclone is over; violent winds will soon resume from another direction. Wait for the official ‘all clear’ if driving, stop clear of trees, power lines and streams.

What to do after a cyclone

  • Listen to the local radio for official warnings and advice.
  • Don’t go outside until advised officially that it is safe.
  • If you need to go outside, beware of fallen powerlines, damaged buildings and trees, and flooded water courses.
  • Check for gas leaks and don’t use electrical appliances if wet If you had to evacuate, don’t go home until advised.
  • Use the route recommended and stay calm.
  • Don’t ignore warnings and don’t go sightseeing, stay where you are if it's safe.
  • Check on neighbours, render assistance if necessary.
  • Don’t make unnecessary telephone calls.
  • Always assume downed powerlines are live and lethal.

Ensure you have the right cover for your circumstances

At Allianz, we’ve been helping Australians get back on their feet after adverse events for over 100 years.

But, you should always check that your insurance policy has the right level of cover for you.

We offer cover for a range of insured events such as storm and cyclone. If available, flood can be added as an optional cover to your home or landlord policy. Please note, a 72 hour exclusion period may apply.

For full details about what is and isn’t covered, check your Product Disclosure Statement, Policy Schedule or Certificate of Insurance.

How to lodge a claim

Our first priority is your safety. Please keep yourself and your family out of harm’s way until the danger is over. Then, when it’s safe to do so, contact us when possible.

The Allianz Claims Services Team will be ready to assist with enquiries and lodging claims to ensure you receive prompt, expert assistance and support.

If your property and/or motor vehicles are damaged as a result of cyclones, flooding, storms or bushfires, it’s best to lodge a claim online here to minimise delays. A Claims Team consultant will contact you as soon as possible.

Or, call us on 13 10 13, or contact your broker.

Our Claims Team is here to help you. You don’t need your policy documents. Our Claims Team can locate these details for you.