Thunder, Thunder, Lightning, Very, Very Frightening… Me
You’re all going to hate me for putting that song in your head. But thunder, lightning and storm season in general is certainly upon us and a lot earlier than normal this year.
You’d have to be living under a rock not to know about the hail storm here a little over a month ago now. It was horrendous, and the repair list is extensive.
Welcome Home Rentals had 42% of our properties damaged – so if it feels like it’s taking forever, this is why. It’s almost half of the homes we take care of and if we experienced almost half, we are but a percentage. In other words, it’s probably safe to say that almost half of all homes in the Gympie area were damaged in some way.
Not looking forward to the insurance premium rises next year!
Sooo… what can you do during a storm? You might be tempted to do as most do and ring your property manager. The trouble is, as much as we don our super hero capes each morning, Mother Nature takes as much notice of us, as a toddler takes of his mother holding out a forkful of broccoli.
As much as we would love to have the power to turn the rain off, or move it to those who missed out on much needed water tank fills, we are but human and we have no control whatsoever over what falls from the sky.
We’ve put some tips together for you all for this storm season:
Listen to the weather forecasts…
Yeah, they’re usually wrong. But the severe storm weather warnings are not to be ignored. Whether you log into Higgins Storm Chasers, or BOM radar, or the other local one that I don’t know the name to anymore as I’m not on Facebook – there’s info out there and we no longer have to rely on the water cooler chit chat to find out what the weather is doing.
Secure outdoor items – ask the wicked witch what can happen if you don’t…
Most of the time, your table and chairs, and the kids’ trampoline, will only result in you having a wet bottom by sitting on them after a storm HOWEVER the wild ones are… well, wild. We had a Wizard of Oz situation with a garden shed in one of our properties that was picked up and carried for 1km. It’s pretty much just scrap metal now and I’m not sure if the owner will ever know where it landed.
Leave a light on for me…
Get some torches or battery-operated lamps. I’m really tempted to mention candles – particularly as it can set the mood and make power outages fun, but candles are easily knocked over, ruining carpets with melted wax, and you increase the chance of fire. Think the storm is bad? Wait until the curtains are ablaze – it could always get worse. Keeping a torch where you can find it without kicking your toes is the best bet. And don’t forget to replace the batteries.
Here’s your bucket list…
Nope, not things to do before you die. The actual bucket is what you’ll need when your roof leaks. Don’t have a bucket? Plastic lunch containers also work well. And towels. We are sorry about the extra washing – it’s not fair and there should be a universal credit from MN (Mother Nature) for all of the work she creates but at least she usually gives us sunshine after the storm to help get everything dry.
Windows leak, too….
When rain comes in sideways, it’s going to find every gap it can. Again, towels work well. Make sure you move furniture away if you need to. Remember to shut windows, too. Flyscreens are designed to let fresh air in and will not keep the wet out.
Bat flattery on phones…
I know, I know. When the power goes out, it’s always when you forgot to charge and have 3% battery left. Grab a portable charger if you can. These babies can be used to charge most portable devises and will be cheaper to use than running your car engine to charge your flat iPhone. Also a note that if you’re having trouble with your phones, we might be with ours, too, so if you can’t get through, remain patient.
Going barking mad…
Most people hate storms, but pets in our experience REALLY, REALLY hate storms. Many tenancies do not allow dogs in doors but if your pet is outside howling and frightened, make sure you comfort them. In some cases you may be able to bring them into a garage if you have one. Owners aren’t unreasonable and provided they don’t claw at walls and doors, it’s sometimes better until things calm down. Get their bed, something that smells familiar and spend time with them so they know everything is okay.
Take a picture, take a Kodak
Thank goodness for mobile phones. Can you imagine having to grab your polaroid to take photos of the storm damage and then driving to the Chemist to have the film developed? Photos are great when reporting your maintenance but remember to take distant shots. Getting a picture close up of a puddle tells us very little. Best to take a long distance shot and using that fun magic marker on your Photos App to circle where the leak or damage has occurred.
Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink
If you’re on tank water and your power goes out, you’re at risk of going thirsty… and having “unwanted business” in the toilet. Typically power comes back on quite quickly however we have now had 2 storms already this season where the power has been off for hours. Making sure you have bottled water to drink, and a bucket of water to manually flush the toilets is a good idea. To manually flush a toilet, you simply pour the bucket of water into the bowl. And then you feel incredibly grateful for that little button forever more.
Having a smashing time
You’ll note I didn’t say, smashing GOOD time. Hail is not nice. Maybe fun as kids as it was the closest we were going to get to seeing snow, but as adults we know it’s causing damage. If you wind up with a broken window, keep children and pets right away from the area until you’ve been able to clean up the broken shards. Lots of things can be used to temporarily board up a broken window for eg; a cardboard box, some tarp and good ole packing tape etc.
Love thy neighbour… or at least check on them…
Storms can create havoc, and fear. If you have an elderly neighbour, or perhaps a mum on her own while hubby is away, a shout out over the fence or a knock on the door to check in is a nice thing to do once the storm has subsided. Helping others makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside – and you just never know – maybe they’ll make you a nice fruitcake for Christmas if you do something nice for them.
Many of our tenants and owners mentioned they would miss my blogs now that I’m off social media so this is proof that life does go on without Facebook and I’m not dead.
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Bye for now
From the Un-sociable Kylie, as my friends have dubbed me.