A new website developed by James Cook University researchers has been launched, offering valuable information on how to make your home a castle during a cyclone or major storm.

Called Weather the Storm, the website was developed in partnership with Geoscience Australia and Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and allows people to access specific information on a range of typical Australian homes and how to make them secure from storms.

JCU researcher Dr Korah Parackal said the website was useful for Australian homeowners, especially in storm-prone areas.

Dr Korah Parackal with a model of a house at James Cook University. Picture: Evan Morgan
Dr Korah Parackal with a model of a house at James Cook University. Picture: Evan Morgan

"One of the aims of Weather the Storm was to give homeowners the tools to be able to understand the effect of winds on their homes and communicate to builders what they need done to strengthen them," Dr Parackal said.

But he said home maintenance was vital to keep a house secure during a major wind event.

"Our houses are where we shelter during a storm so they must be up to the task of keeping us safe," he said.

"From our damage investigations we do after wind storms and cyclones, a lot of the damage we see is actually due to maintenance issues.

"These include rust, rot, termites ... these can all affect the key tie-down points of a house and greatly reduce the strength of a house, especially for older houses."

The website can be accessed at www.weatherthestorm.com.au

Originally published as How your home can weather the storm


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