With increasingly extreme weather set to batter Britain this week, Saga is urging homeowners to protect their properties against the elements and have produced a free guide to "Prepare your home for bad weather".
There are several quick, easy and inexpensive precautions that can reduce damage, including:
- Be aware in advance how to turn off gas, electricity and water
- Ensure all garden furniture is stored away or adequately secured against high wind and storm damage
- Trim back any precarious branches to minimise any additional damage should a storm occur
- Check your roof for loose tiles, clear gutters and pipes and remember to keep checking for extra leaves and foliage that could cause blockages
It is important to brave the cold and check the outside of your property; look for peeling paintwork and loose putty on windows as this can let water in and cause windows to swell and jam. Snow can be particularly problematic if not cleared quickly as melting snow can soak through roofs causing flooding or damp.
Power cuts can add to the difficulties of extreme weather. Be prepared and keep a torch and batteries in a readily accessible place, and keep doors shut to retain heat - this goes for fridges and freezers too - try not to open them during a power cut as your food will keep longer this way.
In the case of flooding it is particularly important to be prepared.
Find out if your home is liable to be flooded by calling the Environment Agency's Floodline on 0845 988 1188. If at risk, check with your insurance company that you have adequate cover and make a list of all your possessions and take photographs of your home to help with a claim. Store the records in an upstairs room or, better still, in a safe deposit box at your bank. It is also wise to keep a flood kit ready upstairs; include a torch, blankets, Wellingtons, medication, useful telephone numbers such as the council and a portable radio.
For further information on Saga Home Insurance call 0800 068 8412
To receive the free guide visit www.saga.co.uk/house
For further press information please contact the Saga Press Office on: 01303 771529.