I have friends and family in the top end… the Western top end that is and I’ve been storm watching for a couple of weeks as a tropical cyclone builds and prepares to smash into the coast of Northern Western Australia. My people are in Derby(North of Broome) and Karatha. At one point it was the Derby people battering down the hatches but then the cyclone moved south and smashed into the coast near Karatha.
As a seller of cyclone proof sheds I have found myself watching the Australian weather radar every summer and seeing where the cyclones are coming in and though I am no meteorologist it seems they are following a disturbing pattern.
- The cyclones are coming in more often.
- When they arrive, they are stronger.
- They are hitting the coast lower and lower.
- Both the west and east coasts of Australia are now being hit by pseudo cyclones was down the coast… too low down to even officially be called cyclones… but of course no matter what name you put on a severe storm… a severe storm is a severe storm. They bring flooding, strong winds and lots of damage.
My tip this month when considering a shed is to pretty much always consider a cyclone proof shed. Whether you are in the top end or not… at some point your shed is going to be shellacked by a severe storm. Sydney and Melbourne have both seen severe storms in the last 2 years, with the resulting huge amounts of rain and wind.
No matter what type of shed you buy… think drainage. When your house is built, usually a great deal of planning and construction goes into management of any watercourses that might if not managed result in an undermining of your foundations, or flooding of lower levels. Not so with the humble shed. Often the slab is just poured in the backyard in any old place, and it’s not till later that the owners realize they really should have dug in a trench of aggregate beside it, as the shed itself is not positioned on the natural water course of the property.
A ShedSpot cyclone proof shed is built to withstand severe storms and cyclones… but none of that will matter much if a foot of water goes rushing through your shed, water that with a bit of forethought could have been diverted to the side.
It’s also an idea to raise your slab above the level of the backyard rather than to countersink it at grass level. Raising it even 6 inches only above the surrounding ground can prevent a lot of damage to your shed’s contents. I saw this photo(See above – it’s not a Shedspot Shed but you get the idea regarding backyard flooding) of a flooded backyard shed… and I figured this photo was taken after the water level in the back yard had already dropped a bit. Perhaps the slightly raised shed slab saved the contents from drowning… but I would have liked to see the slab another 3 inches higher again. 3 inches might not seem like much… but when it comes to backyard flooding, an extra 3 inches of slab height is almost guaranteed to save your shed, as the total volume of water that needs to cover your back yard to go over this extra 3 inches amounts to literally thousands of extra liters of water.
Look… if the water level is lapping at your windows… a higher shed slab is not going to help much… but for your average severe storm? It’s going to make all the difference.
So when you are pouring that slab for your shed…. Keep the natural water course of your property in mind. It’s not a matter of if you’ll be hit by a severe storm one day, it’s a matter of when, and its far better to be prepared, than simply being prepared to lose all shed contents.