Summer time means backyard barbecues, cricket and trips to the beach. But for some Queenslanders it also means battening down the hatches and taking cover from a storm.
Queensland’s storm season typically lasts November to April each year. When the storms do arrive, they are often unpredictable and can cause major damage to property, as well as serious injury and even loss of life.
Although the Sunshine Coast rarely experiences the same severe weather events as our northern neighbours, the coastline is often hit with powerful gusts of wind and pounding hail, which is why it’s important to be prepared.
There are steps you can take to minimise harm to your property and protect your personal safety. With the right equipment and advice from Sunshine Coast Mowers, we can help you plan ahead this storm season and prepare your home before it’s too late.
Here are a few simple steps to prepare your yard.
Trim hedges and trees
For some of us, maintaining our gardens year round can be a hassle, especially when it comes to trimming trees and tossing away broken branches and sticks. Unfortunately, these are the items that cause the most damage during a severe weather event, often resulting in major window and home exterior damage.
To get this job done, we recommend you use a STIHL electric hedge trimmer — with a 5-position rotary handle for flexible, easy cutting; this tool is quick and convenient for tackling those jobs you have put off all year.
Use the trimmer to cut back hedges, trim trees and garden edges. Often, once the inner branches of a tree have been exposed, you can get in and throw away any dead or broken limbs that you might not have seen.
Secure loose items
Keep timber, woodpiles and any flammable materials such as petrol away from the house, covered and secure. Also ensure damaged structures such as fences are fixed and secure.
If a storm is approaching, ensure all outdoor settings such as table and chairs are all secure.
Clear paths and drive ways
It’s important that all access areas to your home are cleared of debris incase you and your family have to make a quick escape during a severe weather event. We recommend using a STIHL blower or blower vac to clear leaves and grass cuttings, while the STIHL High Pressure Cleaner range offers great cleaning power to remove any further debris from around the house. The machines use eco-friendly technologies and are built to have a long operational life.
Use the STIHL blower or blower vac to clear dry leaves and debris from gutters and drain pipes. Gutters blocked by debris can cause overflowing water to run down the inside of your walls, causing serious damage. Not to mention the fire hazard if not maintained.
Keep your lawn short and remove any build-up of materials like dry leaves or dead branches that are flammable or can cause damage to your home in strong winds. At Sunshine Coast Mowers, we have a large range of mowers to suit all lawn types and spaces. Ask one of our friendly staff for advice on your lawn setting and we can help pick the perfect mower for you.
Keep it clean
If you want to maintain your backyard this summer and take pride in its appearance, we also recommend using the range of STIHL High Pressure Cleaning products. Australian made and 100% biodegradable, STIHL cleaning products deliver better results and are less harmful to the environment.
The range includes an Auto Wash & Wax that removes dirt and grime fast and a powerful Auto & Outdoor Cleaner Degreaser that easily removes heavy-duty grease and grime. Both cleaners driver better results when used with STIHL’s range of high pressure cleaners. And when you’ve finished cleaning there’s our new Hand Wash Gel that’s tough on dirt but gentle on your skin.
Queensland Storm History - We have put together a brief package on Queensland’s storm history over the past 50 years.
Arguably Australia's greatest flood event in the last 50 years occurred in January 1974, when tropical cyclone Wanda caused heavy rains across southeast Queensland, including history-making floods in Brisbane.
Another storm front Queenslanders have stamped in their history books was Cyclone Yasi, which crossed the northern Queensland coast in 2011 — a massive 1,450km in diameter storm, with wind gusts up to 285km/h. Thousands of people were evacuated from Cairns after fears the city could take a direct hit, but Yasi changed path and instead flattened sugar cane and banana crops, trees and houses at Mission Beach, near Cardwell.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology, it's estimated Cyclone Yasi caused $3.6 billion worth of damage — the most costly cyclone in Australia history.
Another tropical cyclone many Queenslanders remember well was Severe Tropical Cyclone Larry, which crossed the tropical north Queensland coast near Innisfail during the morning of 20 March, 2006. The tropical cyclone hit record wind gusts of 293.7km/h, damaging about 10,000 houses around Innisfail.
Then we have Severe Tropical Cyclone Marcia, which made landfall at its peak strength near Shoalwater Bay in February last year. The cyclone spun through various areas including Yeppoon and Rockhampton, causing a damage bill of $750 million.