In this issue



   - What’s to Come



Insurance Coverage

-  Stormwater vs Flood Water



Storm Preparation

-  Management and Emergency



Wrap Up

   - See you next month



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Hello everyone and welcome to the October edition of “Keep Things Flowing”, the monthly newsletter presented by Storm Water Consulting.

This month’s newsletter theme is all about the upcoming storm season in South East Queensland and different ways to ensure your protection from damage that storms could cause you. So let’s get into it!


Insurance Coverage

Summer is just around the corner and for South East Queensland that means the afternoon storm season is fast approaching. Unfortunately, damage to properties, dwellings or possessions may occur as a result of storm events. When damage occurs from a storm event we often rely on insurance to cover the cost of fixing or replacing any damaged items. Did you know that the damage caused by a storm event can be classified as storm damage or flood damage? Do you know what the difference is between the two? As hydraulic engineers, we have had Insurance companies engage our services to determine whether the damage to a property occurred due to flood or stormwater. In some insurance policies, “flood” is an exclusion of coverage. The definition of stormwater or flood can differ between each insurance company policy. Two examples have been presented below to provide a clearer understanding of the issue.

For the examples below the following definitions of Stormwater and Flood Water will be adopted.

Stormwater: Water travelling overland that has not entered a manmade or natural watercourse.

Flood: Water that has broken out of the normal confines of a manmade or natural watercourse.

Example 1:

John lives near a creek. A severe storm occurs in John’s local area. The rainfall finishes and an hour later the creek level rises and breaks its banks, inundating John’s house.  Based on the definitions provided above, it is likely that John’s house was inundated by flood water.

Example 2:

John lives near a creek. A severe storm occurs in John’s local area. Runoff from the large hill behind John’s house flows down the hill and into John’s house.  Based on the definitions provided above, it is likely that John’s house was inundated by stormwater.

Both of the examples presented above would require further investigation to rule out any possibility of the opposing definition applying to the scenario. We have investigated properties where both flood water and stormwater inundation have caused damage. These cases can be very complicated and required significant investigations to draw a conclusion. Even if both sources of inundation are experienced, the source that causes the damage is used to determine whether compensation is paid.

It is strongly recommended that you know what type of damage you are covered against. If you would like assistance with identifying the cause of inundation for an insurance claim please contact our office.


Storm Preparation

Following on from the previous topic of storms, we have compiled a list of things to do to help reduce the likelihood of damage to your property or possessions from a storm event. Residents should also keep an emergency kit on hand for when a storm causes a blackout of isolation. This information has been sourced from the State Emergency Service.

Storm Preparation

1.       Maintain yard and balcony – secure or put away items that could blow around in strong winds

2.       Clean gutters – clean your gutters, downpipes and drains regularly to prevent blockages

3.       Trim branches – trim trees and branches that could potentially fall on your home or property

4.       Fix roof damage – fix any damage to your roof including broken or missing tiles

5.       Familiarise yourself – familiarise yourself with procedures for turning off your gas and electricity

6.       Check insurance – check your insurance policy is current and adequate

7.       Prepare an emergency plan – make a plan for your family that outlines what you would do in an emergency

8.       Prepare an emergency kit – prepare an emergency kit in case you lose power or need to leave your home (see below)

9.       Look after neighbours – look after neighbours (particularly the elderly), children, pets and anyone who may be unfamiliar with the severe weather of SEQ

10.   Listen to local radio – listen to your local radio station and other media for weather warnings


Emergency Kit Checklist

Your emergency kit provides items you might need if you lose power or need to leave your home in a hurry. Your emergency kit contents should include:

-          Portable radio with spare batteries

-          Torch with spare batteries

-          Portable phone charger

-          First aid kit

-          Candles and waterproof matches

-          Important documents including copies of identification, insurance documents and emergency contact numbers

-          Copies of your emergency plan

-          Waterproof bag for valuables

When leaving or evacuating your property, place into your emergency kit:

-          Medications

-          Supplies for any babies

-          Supplies for pets

-          Supplies for any other people in your care

-          Appropriate clothing and footwear

-          Non-perishable food and bottled drinking water


Wrap Up

We hope you've enjoyed the information presented in this month's newsletter. Don’t forget all of our newsletters are published on our website at

As always, Keep Things Flowing!

The Storm Team