Storm damage is the LGIS Scheme's second highest cause of property claims, in terms of number of claims and amount paid over the last ten years, while liability has received over 420 claims associated with local flooding and over 1100 road pot hole claims predominately during the winter months. With winter approaching, it is important you, the member, prepare your local government for potential stormy weather.
Storms can be unpredictable and vary in intensity across the state. Damaging winds, rain, lightning, hail and flash floods can cause a significant amount of damage to property, vehicles and the environment, and can occur through preventable risks.
It is important to take the following steps in preparation for storm season:
- Ensure street drainage systems are maintained and cleared of debris
- Respond to notification and identification of potholes in roads
- Identify and maintain loose and broken roof materials
- Respond to fallen trees and branches
- Maintain and inspect for blocked gutters and downpipes
- Maintain overhanging trees near power lines
Preparation is not only about ensuring your local government's property is ready, but also about ensuring internal procedures and systems respond in a planned and rehearsed manner, if required. This includes emergency management plans (i.e. evacuation, emergency supplies and contact details) and business continuity arrangements in the event of building damage, power loss or IT system interruption.
In addition, you are reminded to be vigilant of the potential fire risks within the workplace during the winter months. These include but are not limited to heating systems, fireplaces, candles, matches and lighters which will have increased usage during the cold weather. A fire can engulf an entire room within four minutes with severe consequences, so constant awareness and preparation all year round is recommended.
For more information and tips to prepare for storms and fires, follow the links to the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) WA materials.