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Coping with Catastrophe: A practical guide.

Oct 4, 2016

The Insurance Industry knows better than most just how destructive the Australian summer can be. Over the past few years, the continent has been battered by bigger and more destructive catastrophes in the form of cyclones, floods and bushfires.

South Australia has been the first state to battle the 2016 “disaster season”, suffering from heavy rainfall causing flooding across the state which has threatened homes, vehicles and livestock.

It’s these stressful times when you need an Insurance Adviser to help you through it – knowing your Adviser is there looking after you personally through the claim. The damage and disruption caused by these events only highlights the importance of being ready to act at a moments notice.

AustBrokers Comsure thought it was timely to send through a guide on how to prepare your homes and business, acting rapidly and sensitively during a crisis, and picking up the pieces afterwards are all critical factors.

Save what you can: expert flood and fire recovery tips (Source: Stematic)


  • Turn off water, gas and electrical mains if safe to do so.
  • Notify emergency officials (fire brigade, gas or electricity suppliers) of the extent of the damage
  • Contact AustBrokers Comsure your Insurance Adviser
  • Create a secure salvage area that is clean and dry to store undamaged items
  • Seal damaged windows with plastic sheeting
  • Photograph and/or document items before moving them


  • Avoid scratching surfaces
  • If wet and contaminated, rise dirty audio/video/computer tapes wile still wound and air dry using blotting material (call a professional to assist with recovery)
  • CDs and DVDs to be removed from covers and rinsed. Air dry vertically


  • Remove carefully from frames if possible. Keep photos and paintings horizontal and picture side up, elevate with nothing touching the surface. Avoid direct sunlight.
  • Allow furniture surfaces to dry naturally and then dry vacuum. Do not sit on or rub surfaces if smoke damaged


  • Remove staples and fasteners to prevent rust spots and air dry as individual wet sheets
  • Do not unfold or separate individual wet sheets
  • Hold books closed if rinsing is necessary and stand book up with pages open. Allow to air dry.
  • If books or paper are extremely wet and unlikely to dry within 48 hours, wrap in freezer or waxed paper and freeze spine down

It’s all about being prepared. Having the right insurance in place is key to recovery, as well as having a Disaster Recovery and Continuity Plan in place. It’s time to review your cover and make sure its sufficient in the event of a catastrophe this season!

Call us on 1800 122 194 for a review.

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