Preparation and safety during thunderstorms
Severe weather can affect all parts of Australia and storms can happen
anywhere, at any time of year and may be accompanied by damaging
winds, large hail, heavy rainfall or tornadoes. All of these phenomena
can cause significant damage to homes, businesses and community
infrastructure. By knowing what to do before, during and after a storm
you can help reduce the effects on you, your family, home and
Check forecasts and warnings
Check the Bureau's website or app for the latest forecasts and
warnings to help you keep up to date with what the weather is doing in
your neighbourhood. Listen to local and national radio and TV
broadcasts for further information about storms as they're occurring.
Here are some suggestions to help you keep you and your property safe
during severe weather. You can find out more information about
preparing for and staying safe in severe weather events from your
state/territory emergency services (links below).
When a severe thunderstorm threatens
- Shelter and secure pets and animals.
Check your yard or balcony and secure or store items that could blow
around in strong winds, e.g. garden furniture, trampolines.
Park vehicles under solid shelter or cover with firmly tied
- Secure all external doors and windows and draw curtains.
Put valuables, medications and spare warm clothing in plastic bags
with your emergency kit and keep it handy.
Check the Bureau website or app and listen to your local radio station for storm warnings and updates.
When the thunderstorm strikes
Stay inside and shelter well clear of windows, doors and skylights.
Don't use a fixed telephone during a thunderstorm due to lightning
Avoid touching brick or concrete, or standing bare-footed on
concrete or tiled floors.
Keep checking the Bureau website or app and listen to your local
radio station for storm warnings and updates.
If caught outdoors
- Move to shelter immediately. There is no safe place outdoors during a thunderstorm.
- If driving, don't drive into water flowing over roads.
- Don't drive, walk, ride or swim through flood waters.
Seek shelter in a 'hard-top' (metal-bodied) vehicle or solid
building but avoid small open structures or fabric tents.
- Never shelter under small groups of (or single) trees.
- Don't fly kites or model aeroplanes with control wires.
- Don't handle fishing rods, umbrellas or golf clubs etc.
- Stay away from metal poles, fences, clotheslines etc.
- Don't ride horses, bicycles or travel in open vehicles.
- If swimming, surfing etc., leave the water immediately.
- If boating, go ashore to shelter as soon as possible.
Be sure the mast and stays of a sailing boat are adequately
'grounded' to the water.
Where to get more information
Bureau of Meteorology pre-recorded telephone messages
ACT/New South Wales Coastal, Land Weather and Flood
Warnings: 1300 659 218
Victoria Coastal, Land Weather and Flood Warnings:
1300 659 217
Queensland Land Weather and Flood Warnings: 1300 659
Western Australia Land Weather and Flood Warnings:
1300 659 213
South Australia Coastal, Land Weather and Flood
Warnings: 1300 659 215
Tasmania Coastal, Land Weather and Flood Warnings:
1300 659 216
Northern Territory Coastal and Land Weather Warnings:
1300 659 214
State and territory emergency services
New South Wales NSW SES 132
Victoria VIC SES 132 500
SES 132 500
SA SES 132 500
Tasmania Tas SES 132 500
ACT ACT ESA 13 22 81
SecureNT 132 500