Storms are a common occurrence here in South East Queensland. Unfortunately, in recent years we have seen some very damaging storms that are becoming more frequent. We typically experience storm season from the end of September/early October through to December. For our northern neighbours, cyclone season extends through til April, which we can experience some of the residual weather effects. It is good idea to have a plan in place for when storm season hits and in the event that your van is damaged. By planning and being prepared, you can minimise some of the damage and thus costs, as well as reducing any emotional stress.
Where it is possible, keep your van undercover, though more often than not this won’t be possible.
If you are using your van, do not park under or near trees. Ensure you close all your windows and hatches as well as putting away any items that could be damaged or become projectiles in high winds, such as, awnings, clotheslines, mats, BBQ’s and bikes. Don’t forget that you should always have a current, well stocked first aid kit, which is easily accessible in the event that you need it.
If your van is in storage, and you are not able to get it under cover, you can use a tarp or caravan cover. This will minimise any damage from water leaks in your caravan, but does come at the risk if it is not tied down correctly that it could do more damage than good.
If you have managed the physical damage that can be done to your van, you also need to consider what happens in the event that damage is done to your van, and unfortunately this is unavoidable as we don’t have a crystal ball. However, you can reduce the stress and costs with insurance. We recommend you read through your policy to ensure you are aware of what you are and are not covered for. Each insurer is different, so it can pay to shop around to get what you want. It is also important that you check the dates of your policy and that it is all paid up, otherwise you will not be covered by insurance. If you don’t like carrying paperwork around with you, it can be a good idea to email a copy to yourself, take a photo, or use the insurance companies online account section to stay up to date with your caravans insurance policy.
We are increasingly relying on technology to help us out with day to day information so why not stay up to date with the weather and any incoming storms and storm warnings. This will hopefully help you to enact any plans you have set in place and give you enough time to act before the storms hit. Why not follow Higgins Storm Chasing on Facebook or download their app. Alternatively, utilise BOM (Bureau of Meteorology), with their radars and satellite imaging to track the weather. You can also download the BOM app for up to date weather and forecasts, as well as official weather warnings.
After a storm, we recommend that you do an inspection of your van to see if there is any damage. Don’t forget to check both inside and the exterior including the roof. It is a good idea to take photos and write notes, such as dates, locations and what areas you think may have been damaged. If there has been a lot of rain, now is a good time to check for any water leaks. You can use your nose for any musty smells, as well as running your finger around all seals to check for water. This includes windows, doors, hatches, vents, air conditioners and TV or internet antennas.