Fears locals are not prepared for storm season

Storm damage in Leonay (Archive photo)
Share this story

Despite the dry spell, residents are still being urged to brace for what is predicted to be a wild storm season.

New data by NRMA Insurance reveals Penrith as the third most affected area by storms according to home insurance claims for damage.

Research suggests NSW as a whole experienced one of its most intense storm seasons in years last year, with 61 per cent of all home claims coming from storm damage in 2018-19 – the highest proportion since 2014-15.

The top three most affected areas are the Sydney Hills District, the Central Coast and Greater Western Sydney.

The data also uncovered that 40 per cent of the state’s residents don’t prepare their homes for storm season.

Car insurance claims resulting from storm and hail damage were also at record highs, with 15 per cent of all car claims in 2018-19 relating to storm damage – almost triple the previous five-year high of just six per cent of car claims in 2016-17.

NRMA Insurance Manager for Safer Communities, Alex Mazzoni, said with more severe storms on the horizon in the coming weeks and months, residents need to prepare.

“We know that two in five residents are yet to take steps to prepare their home for severe weather, so we’re joining the SES to urge everyone to take the time to prepare their homes for storm season,” he said.

“Trim your branches, clear your gutters and secure loose items in your garden on your balcony.

“Severe weather can strike at any time, so these little actions can make a big difference.”

The official storm season runs from October through to March.

The worst locally affected suburbs according to claims made to the NRMA were Glenmore Park and St Clair.

“We have already seen how people have been impacted by severe storms with the NSW SES responding to over 3,500 jobs in the past four weeks,” NSW SES Acting Commissioner, Fatima Abbas said.

“In these recent storms, we have seen countless trees blown over and, in some cases, entire roofs have been blown off homes and businesses.

It is important that we know the things we can do to prepare our properties and loved ones for floods and storms.”

Meanwhile Penrith locals have enjoyed a burst of heat this week, with temperatures sitting above 30 degrees.

A top temperature of 37 degrees is expected in Penrith today.

Share this story