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By Gow-Gates Insurance Brokers

Each year around this time, we encourage our clients and travel industry members to act on planning for storms and bushfires.

This year, we had to deal with the devastation and loss caused by some of the most terrifying bushfires in our Nation’s history. Having them finally under control, we were faced with the next “challenge” – COVID 19. Everyone has been on an emotional rollercoaster as this virus ravages businesses, health systems and borders across the world.

The entire Travel Industry has been shell-shocked from a disaster we had absolutely no control over. The entire country, actually the entire world, is grappling to deal with the most challenging event of our lifetimes. However, we must remember that Mother Nature isn’t going to take the virus into consideration – we are still at risk from the severe weather conditions and whilst many properties are closed temporarily there is potentially more risk. We can use this very strange time in history to prepare for the perils of summer.

Please take just a few moments to consider a plan.


Australia is one of the most amazing places in the world, but living here provides us with challenges. Whether it be fires, storms, floods or other natural disasters, sitting down for a few moments to put together a disaster recovery plan could never be considered wasted time. COVID 19 might provide a moment to think about a disaster recovery plan from so many of the risks that Mother Nature keeps in her arsenal.

As always, many government agencies providing excellent advice on how to plan ahead to mitigate damage to your property, whether it be your personal property or your business.

We all saw last season that bushfires are becoming more intense and it is no longer a remote rural issue.

The various state arms of the SES have so much useful information on preparing and most importantly, surviving.

As you would expect, there is a lot of information around the bush and rural properties, but remember - if you live along the coast near scrub you can also be at risk. Coastal scrub fires can be hot and move very fast. This holds true for properties in built up areas that back onto grassland as grass fires can start easily and spread very quickly – embers can be blown towards your home and from there the situation can deteriorate very quickly.

The Rural Fire Service has a very extensive Bushfire Readiness Plan at this link:

Storms and Floods

With much of the country suffering from extreme droughts of the last decade, not many people are thinking about this topic, but with extreme storms, “flash flooding” episodes are becoming much more common. While flood generally refers to a river or natural watercourse bursting its banks, flash flooding is the result of a heavy rain from an intense storm falling in a particularly short period of time and can be just as devastating to the affected area.

Again, the Emergency Services provide exceptionally useful information
( on floods.

With respect to storms, remember preparation is the key. Some points to be aware of include:

  • Maintain your yard and balcony. Secure or store items that could blow around in strong winds
  • Clean your gutters, downpipes and drains regularly to prevent blockages **
  • Trim trees and branches that could potentially fall on your home or property **
  • Fix any damage to your roof, including broken or missing tiles **
  • Check your insurance policy is current and adequate
  • Make a plan for your family that outlines what you would do in an emergency
  • Prepare an emergency kit with essential items in case you lose power or need to leave home in an emergency
  • Listen to your local radio station and other media for weather warnings

** anything to do with heights, roofs, and trees can be dangerous, so it may be prudent to enlist the assistance of a qualified tradesperson

If you believe that this issue is relevant to your business, please feel free to contact Rebecca Fleming, Manager of our Travel Industry Division at Gow-Gates Insurance Brokers on (02) 8267 9919 or to discuss your circumstances or to obtain a quotation.

Gow-Gates Insurance Brokers advises that persons should not act on the material contained in this article as the items are of a general nature only and may be misinterpreted. We therefore recommend that advice be sought before acting in these areas.