15th May, 2014

Storm Awareness Week highlights the risks facing the trade industry

With storm season beginning this month, business and homeowners are being called upon to prepare for the destruction of severe weather.

May 12 to 18 is designated as Storm Awareness Week by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services, in order to raise awareness of storm season, which runs from May to October.

Dangerous storms are the most frequent natural disaster in Australia, causing more damage than bush fires, cyclones or floods. Strong winds and heavy rainfall also add to the destructive force of storms.

Emergency Services Minister Joe Francis said planning and preparation were the key to staying safe and reducing property damage this storm season.

"The devastating impact of severe weather can often be underestimated, because most storms are short lived and major damage only occurs in small areas," Mr Francis said. "While winter does not officially start until next month, it is vital to get your home, business and family ready while conditions are still relatively mild."

During the 2013 storm season there were 87 incidents across the southern portion of Western Australia. These incidents led to millions of dollars in property damage as well as risks to individual safety.

Business owners can take practical steps to minimise the threat posed by storm season by considering what aspects of their current projects are a potential storm risk.

Management teams in the construction industry should also take this opportunity to consider whether their properties are prepared for storm season.

Storm Awareness Week also provides a timely reminder of the benefits of an optimal construction insurance policy. Both business owners should be sure their insurance is up to date and is robust enough for Western Australia's extreme weather.

Author: Murray Bruce