Asthma to home damage: Storm season spells danger
Storm season can wreak havoc on our homes and belongings, but do you know it can be just as dangerous to our health?
When summer rolls around each year, we tend to think about the dangers of bushfires, and not necessarily storms, which can pose just as much risk to property and life.
For this reason, most Australian households have a detailed fire safe plan to protect themselves. However, when a storm approaches, we usually just do the bare minimum - like shifting the cars undercover, moving pets inside and locking down loose items like outdoor furniture, trampolines and umbrellas in the backyard – to keep ourselves and possessions safe.
And while these actions are taken with good reason, are they enough?
Storm season – which typically falls between October and March, has seen some freak events in Melbourne over the last four years alone, causing major damage.
In December 2018, flash flooding for just 30 minutes during peak hour flooded roads in Melbourne’s inner city, causing most train and tram lines to shut down in the Eastern suburbs.
But storms can also be a threat all year round – underlining the need to be vigilant.
In August 2020, severe storms in Southern Victoria killed three people and saw 80 suburbs put under a boil water notice for four days.
And in June 2021, a powerful storm ravaged Gippsland (Traralgon), Southern Metropolitan Melbourne, Eastern Melbourne (Dandenong Ranges) and Central Victoria.
“Severe storms can cause a huge amount of damage to our homes and contents, resulting in thousands of insurance claims across the state,” says Kirsty Hayes, Head of Home Insurance at RACV.
“But what many people may not realise is the damage that storms can cause to our health too.”