Wet weather conditions are here to stay this winter.
For large parts of Queensland and NSW, summer 2021-22 was non-stop rain. With the La Nina effect continuing in the tropical Pacific, there is a chance the east coast of Australia is in for a wetter and stormier winter than usual.
The Bureau of Meteorology’s (BOM) most recent data suggests that, at the time of writing, there has been little change to the strength of La Nina in recent weeks. Key indicators – the tropical Pacific Sea’s surface temperatures, cloudiness near the Date Line and the Southern Oscillation Index – ‘have maintained or increased their strength over the past fortnight’, according to the BOM’s Climate Driver Update issued on 10 May 2022.
However, the BOM notes most climate models it has surveyed suggest neutral El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) levels will have returned by the onset of winter. Unlike La Nina conditions, this status quo has little influence on rainfall patterns.
Meanwhile, modelling suggests the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) may move from neutral to negative status in the next few months. ‘A negative IOD increases the chances of above average winter-spring rainfall for much of Australia’, the BOM notes.
Climate change continues to influence the local and global climate. Cool season rain in southern Australia has reduced by between 10 and 20 per cent in recent decades, according to the BOM. At the same time, we’ve seen more ‘high intensity short duration’ rainfall events.
“Regional weather patterns could result in a wetter than usual winter. ”
Preparing your business for a wet winter
Being well prepared for storms and extreme rain events will stand your business in good stead, if winter 2022 turns out to be an unusually wet one. Here are some tips that may help you protect your premises and keep your operations running, whatever the weather.
- Pay a professional to inspect the roof of your premises and attend to any recommended maintenance promptly.
- Lop dead and overhanging branches from around your building.
- Check the seals on the external doors of your premises are watertight.
- Identify the safest place in the building to shelter, in the event of a storm.
- Prepare an emergency kit containing protective clothing, water, food, torches, a radio and spare batteries and ensure all employees know where it is stored.
- Learn where your main power, water and gas supplies are located and how to turn them off.
The right insurance can help your business recover quickly, should your premises suffer storm damage this winter. Many small business owners are underinsured and may struggle to find the funds for major repairs, according to Steadfast Group’s Broker Technical Manager, Michael White.
“We commonly see people undervalue their assets and underestimate how much it will cost the business, if damage to their premises results in disruption to operations,” White says.
“It makes sense to talk to your broker, so you’re clear about what your policy includes and whether your level of storm cover is appropriate for your circumstances.”
Contact your Steadfast broker today if you’d like to review your policy’s storm and flood provisions.
This general information does not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation or needs. It is also not financial advice, nor complete, so please discuss the full details with your Steadfast insurance broker as to whether this type of insurance is appropriate for you. Deductibles, exclusions and limits apply. This type of insurance is issued by various insurers and can differ. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement and Target Market Determination in deciding whether to buy or renew this type of insurance.