From late April to early May in 2013, the Tasmanian people have been experiencing some wicked winds which are busy downing power lines, lighting bush fires and creating difficult driving and transit situations. While high winds make ideal conditions for generation of the wind power via wind mills, with a speed of 50-61 kmph or 31-38 mph, the wind is strong enough to displace, uproot or even lift heavy objects such as fallen trees, stalls, light vehicles and shallow installed fixtures.
Recently personal and property damage news due to such wild winds can be read all over the place with regards to severe Australian weather or warnings. Fire warnings are generally issued in areas where farms and forestlands exist in close vicinity. Driving instructions and safe route information is given out. Let’s first understand how hind winds become dangerous –
1. Property can be destroyed or can get lost once taken along with the wind
2. The carried debris or property, however harmless, can act as weapons when combined with the speed and strength of the wind thereby hurting or even killing people and destroying personal and public property.
The following are some basic but important measures for staying safe out of high winds’ way –
Keep abreast of the weather conditions especially if you live or plan to travel or work in a high wind locality. Australian weather services are fairly accurate and well up to speed. Also look out for simple and obvious signs outdoors. High winds don’t develop all of a sudden but build up gradually. Do not discard obvious indicators like difficulty in walking against the wind, slight displacement of stationary objects, etc.
Get yourself, kids and pets indoors in case of emergencies. Stay away from windows and preferably take shelter in basements. If you’re a tourist, know what places to avoid for adventure or outdoor activities. Be flexible to change plans. At this time, Sydney, Melbourne or Newcastle weather is much more welcoming than Tasmanian weather.
Get all outdoor property inside like cars, bikes, cycles, garbage cans, garden furniture, etc. In a market place, make sure all vendors have secured their respective stations.
Heavy Outdoor Objects
Not everything can be brought inside. Secure heavy outdoor objects with chains or heavy anchors some kind. Install all kinds of fixtures deep in the ground especially in nurseries or public playgrounds to prevent them from getting uprooted.
The severity of the high winds can be seen in the light of current Hobart weather. South Hobart’s All Saints Church, which was built more than 150 years ago as per English standards, has sustained enough damage from high winds, to put it out of use unless urgent repairs to the roof and stone wall are done soon. The restoration costs are estimated to be around $90,000!