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Australia has experienced devastating natural disasters in the past which have caused millions of dollars’ worth of damage.

With a range of different landscapes and climates across the country, it is often hard to predict when the next disaster will strike. Whether your property is owner-occupied or an investment,  it is important to protect your home in case of a disaster. Apart from checking that your insurance will cover damaged caused, here are a few more thing that you could do in advance.

Australia is currently in the middle of the bushfire season and many towns have already suffered catastrophic damage due to bushfires. There are many pre-emptive steps you can take around the home to help you become bushfire ready.

• Buy a fire extinguisher and fire blanket and keep in an easy to reach place.
• Clean your gutters and downpipes frequently. 
• Maintain your garden. This includes keeping the grass short, keep plants and trees well-trimmed and tidy up leaves and rubbish.
• Ensure you have a garden hose connected outside
• Install fire-resistant screens on windows and doors
• Keep flammable materials away from your house (such as certain cleaning liquids and gas bottles)

Floods can be extremely dangerous as floodwaters can rise very quickly. By being prepared, you can help keep your family safe and reduce the damage on your property.

• Have tiled floors instead of carpets
• Keep valuable objects such as televisions off the floor
• Purchase a waterproof lockbox to keep important documents in.
• Have a map of your home with the electrical switchboard, gas tanks and water supply location marked out – this will save valuable time if a flood is threatening your home.
• Regularly check all windows and doors close securely to help stop water coming in.

Cyclones & Storms
Although cyclones mostly occur on the coastline of Australia, severe storms can also cause significant damage, so no matter where you live in Australia; it is worth take preventative measures to protect your home.

• Regularly check your gutters and roof to ensure they are in good working order and there are no leaks.
• Keep trees and other plants away from the house, especially windows and the roof.
• Store any unused items outside in a secure spot
• If your property is in a cyclone prone area, it may be beneficial to install permanent shutters to glass doors and windows.

If you have a mortgage and you have been affected by a disaster, make sure you contact your lender. Many have procedures in place for emergencies and should be able to help you.  

Although you cannot stop a natural disaster from occurring, there are ways to protect your home from certain types of damage. Take the time now to implement these preventative steps and you could save yourself a lot of money and heartache.