Weather is one of the natural elements that undergo constant changes which all living creatures could experience. There are even instances where extreme overnight modification of weather could simply cause detrimental effects to nature including toppled trees, overflowing rivers and dams, damaged power grids, disrupted power supply to most homes, collapsing buildings and the likes.
In Australia, this is one of the most commonly encountered natural disasters. Due to such vulnerability of the area for decades, the Australian emergency services have devised a mechanism on attending their people’s needs, especially when panic strikes during such situation.
We’re In The Weak Spot
Because of the undeniable fact that Australia is a very weak spot when it comes to such natural calamity, knowing how to cope with it would seem very natural and practical for survival.
However, in order to completely understand the possible situation that you might get yourself into when living in this place, you should also be aware first on the common types and impact of such calamity when it strikes.
An estimated average says that State Emergency Services in Melbourne often receive over 1000 calls each time a wind blows over 140km/hr in the area of Victoria. This could be due to different reasons, but the bottom line is that residents of this place are panicking because of consistent strong winds brought about by a potential natural disaster.
If compared to tropical cyclones and floods, thunderstorms could be simply determined as they often affect small areas specifically local regions. However, although this could be a pretty small one as opposed to those gigantic windstorms, they can still cause a significant disaster impact on the civilization.
To back this claim up, you should know that in Australia, such calamity has a relatively greater impact other than natural disasters such as bushfire, earthquakes and floods as they could take several lives of the people. Not only that, projectile motion of debris and falling trees could further worsen the situation.
Causes and Targets of Severe Thunderstorms
Era Beach, south of Sydney
As defined by the Bureau of Meteorology, severe thunderstorms are those that can produce wind storms over 90km/hr and can hail for over 2 centimeters in diameter. When combined with lightning, such occurrence could further worsen the impact, thereby bringing deaths and injuries to the civilization.
Such natural disaster is commonly caused by an upward push to warm and humid air near the ground. This directly gives birth to conversion of surface winds that rise quickly into the atmosphere without stability. This unstable atmosphere caused by withdrawal of appropriate energy from the surroundings simply paves the way to severe thunderstorms.
Although this kind of natural calamity often occur in many parts of Australia all year round, in Northern part of the region, contrary to South Eastern region of the South Australia and South Western region of the Western part of the country, winter season is spared. March and September are the most common seasons when excessive supply of solar energy occurs that feeds mild storms.
However, determining the potential damage a particular thunderstorm could pose to these areas would be quite tricky since this place is not so much of a populated one and lacks observance.
Before, During and After a Thunderstorm
Prior to its occurrence, people would simply notice a drastic change in the wind and atmosphere. You would notice the clouds turn heavy and gray an image above is depicting. In situations like this, you need to ensure that you run errands to make sure of your safety.
You have to assess all kinds of loose outdoor items. You also have to run a quick checkup on your gutters, clogged drains of your home as well as downpipes. Remember to cover your roofs with some synthetic material like tarp or similar to prevent leaking as well as tiles breakage which can pose serious threat to health and outdoor belongings like near buildings, windows and cars. FYI, never attempt to go onto a roof during a storm, only before.
an example of properly prepared neighborhood
video guiding you through the process
Aside from these, you may also want to park your car away from your house, especially if you have huge trees around. Some well prepared people tend to secure their treetops with nets to avoid flying debris damaging their and neighborhood property.
During such disaster, on the other hand, there is nothing you can do as strong and heavy winds surround you. In this instance, you have to keep a distance from your windows and doors. Refrain from staying outdoors, especially doing unnecessary activities such as driving and walking through flood waters. Since power shutdowns are inevitable, you also need to keep yourself busy in preparing for it.
- One of the basics would be to prepare sealed containers or plastic bags where you can store your valuables such as clothes, gadgets and the like.
- Packing up an emergency bag with enough clothes, canned goods and first aid kit would also help you to be on-the-go when calamity strikes.
- Purchasing quality and sufficient tarps would also assist you in keeping your cars from severe damages during such disaster.
Although you can never fully predict when a natural disaster would approach and how strong and huge its effect would be, there are always simple yet appropriate means on how to help yourself and the whole community to be prepared and minimize the possible damage it could cause on you, at least.
After this event has passed, assessing the possible damages inside and outside your house would be a practical thing to do. However, regardless of how you need to do it, you should avoid driving to storm-hit regions, especially through damaged bridges, roads and keep away from fallen debris and flood water.
Severe Thunderstorms Coping Mechanisms
To make this simple, let us limit down suggestions to those that are crucial and practical. One of the basic preparations you may want to consider is calling SES at 132 500, especially if you are seeking for an assistance during an emergency caused by a storm.
Calling 000 would also do particularly if there are life-threatening situations during such calamity.
It would also be helpful if all members of the community would gather, join hands, and together, help each other in coping with the impacts and damages that any disaster brings. There are always better mechanisms to adopt that would be beneficial, not just on your end but also to others who are in need.
Maps, Stats And Early Warning Systems
- Facts, Warnings and Protection
- Emergency Services
How do you cope with thunderstorms?