What to do if you’re caught in a severe storm

RYOT Studio
·3-min read
A purple sky in queensland
A purple sky in queensland

You’re away from home and enjoying your Queensland holiday when a severe storm derails your plans. While Queensland is known for its beautiful weather, during the wetter season, sometimes storms can happen. If you’re on the road or vacationing in an unfamiliar area, knowing what to do can feel overwhelming.

First and foremost, safety must always be your priority. Get Ready Queensland offers plenty of useful information, tips and safety checklists for emergency preparedness during poor weather conditions. Having a clear emergency plan in place before you travel will go a long way in being prepared and keeping you and your loved ones safe.

The sooner you’re aware of a storm, the better, but in all cases, remaining calm and taking the advice of your local authorities and emergency services is essential. They’re your best source of accurate information.

What to do before a disaster.
If you have appropriate warning prior to the storm, try to adjust your travel plans to be out of harm’s way. This might not be possible if flights are involved, but if you do have flexible tickets, calling your airline to adjust them might be beneficial. Keep in mind that storms can ground planes and might make it impossible to change your flight even before the storm arrives.

If you’re asked to evacuate by local authorities, do so. Get Ready Queensland offers helpful information on preparing a car emergency kit and how to best prepare your vehicle, caravan or boat during a storm.

You’ll also find a list of useful mobile phone apps that can assist with storm tracking, first aid, and emergency services.

Don’t wait until the last minute when traffic might be overcrowded and slow-moving. Stay updated on the projected storm path and make adjustments accordingly to avoid flooded areas or hazardous winds.

Be mindful of fallen power lines and trees as you evacuate. If the storm path changes and you cannot safely navigate around it, stop immediately and find a safe place to shelter until it passes.

Electric Storm
Electric Storm

What to do during the storm.
If you can’t leave before the storm arrives, it’s important to adhere to these safety tips.

Stay indoors until the storm passes completely. If you’re staying in a hotel or holiday home, keep away from windows. Severe tropical storms can come with high winds, so the safest place is on the ground floor, usually a bathroom without windows or a closet.

Wait for the storm to pass completely. Storms can sometimes have an ‘eye’ or calm period. During this time, high winds might settle, rain ease and the sun might even come out. It doesn’t necessarily mean the storm has passed. Listen for updates from the weather bureau or emergency services.

Do not go outside during a storm for any reason. Don’t let the lure of a ‘good photo’ or an impressive display of lightning draw you outside. High winds can cause debris to become airborne or tree limbs to fall. No photo is worth risking safety.

Stay off the beaches and water. This is important not just during the storm but for at least a day or two afterwards. Stormy weather creates powerful rips, currents, and unpredictable waves that are dangerous and potentially deadly for swimming and boating. Pay attention to all warnings posted at coastal areas and by surf lifesaving services anytime a storm has taken place near you.

In an emergency, any number of scenarios can happen. Visit Get Ready Queensland to discover how you can be better prepared in any situation.