• Preparing your home is an important step towards your family being prepared for, surviving and coping with emergencies.
• The best time to take action to prepare your home is before storm, cyclone and monsoon season.
• Completing the list of suggested tasks on this fact sheet will assist you to prepare your home and property to minimise potential damage.
1. General maintenance
• Check the condition of the roof and repair loose tiles, eaves and screws;
• Clean gutters and downpipes so water can drain away as quickly as possible;
• Trim trees and overhanging branches;
• Secure loose items that could cause damage if blown around in high winds (such as garden furniture and toys).
2. General preparations
• Ensure your home, contents and car insurance is current and covers your assets adequately—check your policy includes debris clean up and disposal;
• Identify which room is the strongest part of the house, in case you need to shelter in your home during severe storm or cyclone. Usually this would be the smallest room in the house, with the least windows;
• Identify where and how to turn off the mains supply for water, power and gas; and
• Purchase emergency essentials to have on hand, such as:
• containers to store drinking water;
• spare supply of fuel for use in your vehicle (ensure you store safely);
• wide masking tape for windows;
• hessian bads and sand for sandbagging indoor drains to prevent sewerage backwash from flooding.
3. If you live in a flood—prone area:
• Store all poisons well above ground level;
• Identify which indoor items you will need to raise or empty if flooding threatens your home;
• Also consider:
o alternatives to carpet floor coverings,
o relocating electrical sockets and power—points to well above floor level.
4. If you live in an area prone to cyclone or severe storm:
• Fit windows with shutters or metal screens for added protection during high winds;
• Arrange a professional builder to check your building and identify measures to increase its structural security to withstand high winds.
5. When severe weather warnings are issued:
• Disconnect electrical applicances and all external television and radio aerials;
• Turn off electricity and gas main supplies if instructed by emergency authorities;
• Secure outdoor furniture and other garden items;
• Fill buckets and bath with clean water in case of interruptions to main supply;
• Close windows with shutters, or use strong tape in criss—crossing pattern and draw curtains;
• Park vehicles under cover, away from trees, powerlines and waterways;
• If you cannot access undercover shelter for your vehicles, secure with firmly tied blankets to minimise hail damage;
• Check all household members are safe and are in the strongest room in the house;
• Take your Emergency Kit ( ) in with you whilst sheltering from the storm or cyclone;
• Tune in ( ) and listen to your local radio station for updates on the event and further warnings and safety messages.

Top Tips for Your Pool After a Storm
When heavy rain, strong winds and severe storms hit, your pool needs extra care to ensure it’s safe and healthy.
Typically after heavy rain fall, a pool will require flocs, phosphate removers and adjuster chemicals, but always start with the basics after bad weather strikes and check these things first:
1. Rain heavily dilutes chemicals, especially chlorine and salt. Add extra chlorine, even if you have a salt system, to prevent the levels dropping too low and minimise time for algae to bloom.
2. Check that none of your electrical equipment (e.g pump, chlorinator) have been damaged by the weather and that no puddles have formed around them. If a safety issue has been presented, contact a professional right away.
Storms cause:
• Debris & damage to equipment and surfaces.
• Motor burnout/fusion.
• Dilution of chlorine, salt and other chemicals, reducing their effectiveness.
• Additional phosphates can wash into your pool. Phosphate is food for algae, meaning a potential green pool.
• Electricity and safety issues, such as pumps and lights, short circuiting or blowing out.
After a storm:
• Balance your pool water and correct any chemical imbalance. Bring a water sample into Poolwerx and we can quickly analyse it and advise you what you need to get your pool back in balance
• Make sure you call a professional for all electrical issues.
If it’s all too much then please give us a call and book a service. Let us take the hassle out of getting your pool and equipment back in shape.

Who loves Autumn/Winter?

Here are some tips on keeping your house warm in the cooler months:

The cold and dark months of winter are the time when we spend more time indoors and turn up our heating. It’s also the time when our energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions go sky high.

We all need to keep warm, but we can do it in a greener, cleaner way. Here are our top ten tips for staying warm over winter:

1. Use heavy curtains to stop heat escaping from your windows

Up to 40 per cent of the heat escaping from your home in winter is from uncovered windows. Heavy, lined curtains which extend below the window frame will insulate your windows and help keep the warmth in.

2. Install insulation in your house (or top up old and thinning insulation)

A well insulated house can use as much as 45% less energy for heating and cooling, which means that insulation pays for itself in cheaper bills. With energy prices set to rise again, installing insulation now is a smart way of avoiding excessive bills in the future.

3. Seal up gaps and cracks that let the cold air in

If you added up all the cracks and gaps in your home, it would be the equivalent of having a 1 metre by 1.5 metre window open all the time. They can account for 15 – 25 percent of heat loss in your home. Seal up cracks and gaps using weather stripping around doors and windows, gap filler for cracks in the walls and even a simple door snake for the bottom of the door. You can buy all of these things at your local hardware store, for not much money.

4. Install pelmets on top of your windows

These are either boxes which sit cover your curtain rod or ‘invisible pelmets’ which sit above your curtain rod and butt up against the back of the curtain, and they do a great job of stopping cold air coming in to your room. If you don’t have them, a cheap alternative is to attach a bit of plywood or corrugated plastic to the top of your curtain rail, out of sight behind the top of the curtain. Or even just pop a scarf up there.

5. Watch the temperature

If you have a heater, heat the rooms you are using to around 20ºC in winter, a comfortable temperature for most people. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat on your heater, place a thermometer in your living area to keep an eye on the temperature. And think of putting on a jumper before you try turning up the heat!

6. Close off any rooms that are not in use

Furniture can’t feel the cold so why waste energy heating areas that you’re not using? If your heating system will let you, turn it off in empty rooms. And don’t leave your heater or cooling system running all night or while you’re out. Turn it off or install a timer.

7. Let the sunshine in during the day

If you have any north facing windows, open up their curtains when it is sunny to let the sun heat up your house for you.

8. Insulate hot water pipes

Wrap external hot water pipes with simple lagging (insulating tape) to reduce the heat loss from your hot water tank to the taps, and reduce the energy needed to get your hot water. It can be bought cheaply from your local hardware shop.

9. If you can’t heat the room, heat yourself

If you can’t insulate your room or block draughts, it will be hard to heat the whole room, especially with a small electric heater. In this case you are better off sitting near the heater, so it at least keeps you warm.

10. Maintain your heaters

Getting your heater serviced professionally at least every two years will keep it running more efficiently. Keeping heaters free of dust and cleaning any filters regularly will also help.