El Niño is a prolonged weather event that brings drier and hotter conditions. The Bureau of Meteorology declared that an El Niño event is underway for Australia. Consequently, there is an increased risk of high temperatures and the likelihood of fires throughout Australia. In the wake of this declaration, it is important to be prepared for the changes El Niño can bring. Queensland strata residents have a significant role to play in preparing for El Niño, in partnership with the Body Corporate Committee, Building Management and Community Manager (SSKB). Here are 4 tips to prepare your strata building for El Niño.
1. Water Conservation:
Particularly in Queensland, it is important to actively reduce water consumption. This involves addressing leaks, installing water-efficient appliances, and adopting water-wise practices in individual units and shared spaces. These efforts help conserve water resources during El Niño’s dry periods. Which are particularly relevant in Queensland’s climate. All stakeholders should work collaboratively to adopt these water saving methods subject to compliance with legislation and the By Laws. This includes residents, committee, building management and your Community Manager.
2. Property Maintenance:
You should maintain your strata building to a high standard to ensure it is El Niño ready. This can be done by introducing targeted initiatives by residents and bodies corporate.
One crucial aspect of preparing for El Niño is optimising landscaping and water management. Residents and Bodies Corporate should consider implementing water-saving measures. Such as installing irrigation systems, reducing lawn areas, and planting drought-tolerant vegetation. Not only can these measures help conserve water resources. But also minimise the impact of potential water restrictions that may accompany a dry spell.
It is important to store as much rainwater as possible. Rainwater harvesting systems may be a good option for collecting and storing rainwater for later use. This can help supplement water supplies for gardening or other non-potable uses.
A vital tip to prepare your strata building for El Niño is to ensure that roofs are in good condition. Residents and Bodies Corporate should inspect their roofs for any signs of damage or deterioration. Repairing these issues promptly can prevent leaks during heavy rainfall or intense storms that may occur during the El Niño period. It’s also important that your drainage system (including gutters and downpipes) are clear of leaves and debris. To minimise the chance of falling embers from any nearby fires setting the property alight.
Ensure that green areas are well maintained to mitigate fire risks.
For the purpose of comfort in the increased heat, consider shading outdoor living areas with pergolas, shade sails, or trees. This will create comfortable spaces for relaxation while reducing the reliance on energy-intensive cooling systems. Ensure that air conditioning systems are well maintained. This will allow the system to operate efficiently and effectively.
3. Fire Safety:
El Niño will bring an increased risk of bush fires and natural fires to Queensland. As well as increasing the severity of fires. Thus, it is important to ensure proactive fire safety measures are in place for individual apartments/units and common property. For residents, this includes creating or reviewing their emergency and evacuation plans, have emergency kits ready, including essentials like torches, batteries, first aid supplies, medications, important documents and non-perishable food items. Bodies Corporate must have emergency and evacuation plans in place. As well as ensuring fire safety equipment is maintained in accordance with local fire safety regulations and Australian Standards. Residents should familiarise themselves with the location of fire extinguishers, fire alarms, fire escape paths and other fire safety procedures in your Body Corporate. If you notice damaged or malfunctioning equipment, report it to your Building Manager or Community Manager for action.
4. Stay Informed, Stay Prepared:
Be aware of the property’s emergency evacuation plan and assembly points. Stay informed about updates related to El Niño. This can be done by following your preferred news channel and keeping up with the weather warnings. Share and discuss this information with fellow residents.
By following these 4 tips to prepare your strata building for El Niño, and partnering with SSKB Body Corporate. Queensland residents can create a resilient and prepared community for the El Niño weather event currently facing Queensland.