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Severe weather preparation checklist

Severe weather preparation checklist

When severe weather hits Australia, hazardous conditions such as hail, storms, flash floods, thunder and lightning can happen. Protect yourself with this severe weather preparation checklist and help safeguard your family. 

Understanding severe weather conditions

Prepare an essential emergency kit and practice an emergency plan to ensure household members know what to do in the event of extreme weather conditions.

Hailstorms and high winds

Stay inside and close all windows and doors. Find refuge in a small interior room, stairwell or the lowest floor of the building. Make sure family members are safe and accounted for, including pets. Stay clear of glass windows, doors and exterior walls.

If outside, seek shelter in a building or lie flat in a low dry ravine or ditch under a low bridge – don’t shelter in a car or caravan. Protect your head and hang on to a base of a shrub or small tree. Don’t try to outrun high winds or a cyclone.


Remain indoors and stay clear of windows, doors and fireplaces. Make sure all windows and doors are securely shut. Unplug all electrical appliances and don’t use telephones (either a landline or mobile) during the storm. Both water and metal are electrical conductors so make sure you don’t take a bath or touch electrical equipment during a lightning storm.

If outside, seek shelter in a building or vehicle. When there is no available shelter, crouch down, feet close together and keep your head tucked down. If you’re in a group, spread out several metres apart. Discard umbrellas, golf clubs and don't stand under trees or poles.

Flash floods

A flash flood is a violent and sudden flood.  If you’re at home, get as high as you can and stay clear of windows or glass doors.

If you’re outside, find refuge as high as possible and call emergency services for help. When driving a vehicle, turn on hazard lights and pull over to the side of the road. Keep clear of causeways, streams, creeks, drains, trees and power lines.

If the flood water has risen around your car but the water isn’t moving, get out and move to higher ground. Don’t enter moving water.

General tips for keeping safe in severe weather situations 

Follow these important steps:

  • Check for immediate danger - if there is call emergency services
  • Listen to your local radio and check social media and emergency services apps for updates
  • You should ideally already have your emergency kit ready to go, including important items and documents
  • Locate your closest exit with a clear passage outside
  • Share information and make sure you have a meeting place for household members outside the home if you can
  • Dress in protective clothing and eye wear
  • Organise pets and animals
  • Disconnect appliances and unplug equipment
  • Never travel through floodwater, stay clear of creeks, streams, drains, causeways, gutters, fallen trees, power lines and damaged buildings.

Check your insurance

When planning for severe weather, make sure your home and contents insurance is up-to-date and the sum insured amount is enough. It’s a good idea to have your insurer’s details in your emergency kit, so you’ll be able to contact them in a hurry if you need to.


Important information

Cover is subject to your application for insurance being accepted.

* Quote and buy online and save 15% off your annual premium for the first year with promotional code COVER. Plus, save 10% when you combine home and contents located at the same address under one policy.

Product Disclosure Statements (PDS)

Home and Contents Insurance Product Disclosure Statement and Supplementary Product Disclosure Statement (PDF 382KB)  (applicable to policies issued or renewed on or after 1 July 2019)

Home and Contents Insurance Product Disclosure Statement and Supplementary Product Disclosure Statement (PDF 365KB) (applicable to policies initially issued in the period between 30 June 2018 and 30 June 2019; or renewed in the period between 30 July 2018 and 30 June 2019)

Home and Contents Insurance is issued by Westpac General Insurance Limited ABN 99 003 719 319 (except workers compensation cover where applicable).  St.George  – a Division of Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 (the Bank) distributes the insurance, but does not guarantee the insurance.  

This information does not take your personal objectives, circumstances or needs into account. Read the relevant PDS(s) to see if this insurance is right for you.

View the Retail and Business Banking Financial Services Guide, Credit Guide and Privacy Statement. (PDF 137KB)