Building guides to assist homeowners prepare for cyclones and storm tides

New cyclone and storm tide resilient building guides released today will support communities in Queensland increase their resilience to future natural disasters.

The release of the guides by Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA), in conjunction with the Cyclone Testing Station at James Cook University, follows the launch of the Flood Resilient Building Guidance for Queensland Homes earlier this year.

Queensland Reconstruction Authority CEO Brendan Moon said the Cyclone and Storm Tide Resilient Building Guidance for Queensland Homes would assist people living in cyclone and storm tide prone areas with practical design and building advice to help minimise potential damages to homes.

“The latest resilience research for building, maintaining and upgrading homes has informed the new and improved cyclone and storm tide building guides that were originally released in 2013,” Mr Moon said.

“The guides were redeveloped in collaboration with the Cyclone Testing Station at James Cook University, local councils and the building and insurance industries to provide clear and practical advice to home owners.”

Mr Moon said the guides demonstrated that improved resilience could be achieved by taking a few small, practical steps in the design and fitout of homes.

“In turn, this could significantly reduce the effort, cost and time it takes to recover from cyclones and other natural disasters,” he said.

 “The guides also include information about ways people can better rebuild following a cyclone, to reduce the impact and cost of future events.

“With Cyclones Owen, Penny and Trevor all wreaking havoc across our state last Summer – and the next cyclone season upon us - it’s important to be informed, ready and resilient in order to protect our homes and loved ones.”

John Doolan from the Cyclone Testing Station at James Cook University (JCU) said life in the tropics had many benefits, but with that came the risk of cyclones and storm tide flooding, with homes close to the coast or on flood plains most prone.

“Historically our towns are built on flood plains close to sources of fresh water and coastal access; with that comes exposure to cyclones and inundation from storm tides,” Mr Doolan said.

“The Cyclone Testing Station at JCU has been researching and quantifying the impacts of severe weather events for over 40 years and developed the guides by drawing on that experience.

“The guides are useful reference documents for understanding cyclones and storm tides, as well as setting out practical responses that can be undertaken when upgrading, repairing existing dwellings or building new homes.

“We suggest using the guides in collaboration with regular home inspections and maintenance.”

More information on the Cyclone, Storm Tide and Flood Resilient Building Guidance is available at www.qra.qld.gov.au/Resilient-Homes