Western Australia is gearing up for another storm season, and Emergency Services Minister Joe Francis hopes that residents and business owners will take the necessary precautions.
This week (May 12 to 16) is Storm Awareness Week, and with the official start of winter less than one month away, Mr Francis is urging residents and business owners to begin planning now.
He said: "It is vital to get your home, business and family ready while conditions are still relatively mild."
Mr Francis added that last winter, 87 storm-related incidents were recorded across the state, resulting in roof damage, fallen trees and flooding.
"With strong winds, heavy rainfall and hail often accompanying storms, they can cause millions of dollars in property damage and pose a threat to people," he said.
In total, more than 800 storm-related calls were made to emergency services in WA over the course of last winter, highlighting just how devastating rough weather can be.
Storm Awareness Week is also an excellent time to check up on your business insurance in Perth, as storms can have particularly devastating consequences on small operations, such as cafes.
In the March 2010 storm in Perth, for example, the Insurance Council of Australia estimates that insurance claims totaled approximately $1 billion.
It is always much better to prepare in advance than to face problems later on, so in addition to checking up on your insurance cover, Mr Francis recommended taking action now to minimise the risk of damage to your property because of a storm.
He suggested hiring a contractor to trim branches or clear overhanging trees, clearing any gutters and checking the rooftops of houses and business premises to ensure that there are no loose tiles or nails.