Staying safe in extreme weather
Although the UK tends to have less extreme weather than other places in the world, the winter months can still bring severe conditions.
It’s important to know what to do in these events to protect yourself and your home, so we’ve made a simple list, outlining what you can do to stay safe until the skies clear:
- Keep an eye on the weather forecast – you can find alerts on TV or radio plus you could go online to the Met Office Website or sign up social for media alerts on Twitter or Facebook
- If you’re in the path of bad weather, make sure you have everything you need. Check you have enough medication, bottled water and stock up your cupboards and first aid kit so that you don’t need to leave the house unless necessary
- Keep your mobile phone charged and have a list of emergency contact numbers close to hand – it can be helpful to write down the number for gas, water or electricity suppliers
- Have a torch at home in case of a power cut and check you have spare batteries!
- If you do not know how to turn off your gas, water and electric mains safely, ask someone for advice, e.g. a neighbour.
In case of flood alerts in your area, there are things you can do to prepare, in case the worst should happen:
- Install sandbags on doors and windows
- Move sentimental items, important documents and easy to carry electricals upstairs
- If the worst should happen, turn off your gas, water and electric mains safely
- Secure any items left in your garden such as furniture or children’s play equipment, that could get blown around in high winds. If possible, lock them away in a secure outbuilding.
- Move your car away from trees and buildings, ideally parking it in a garage if possible.
- Prepare for potential power cuts by having a few items ready, such as a torch and batteries
- Unplug non-essential electrical devices such as TVs and computers to avoid damage, as lightning strikes can cause power surges.
Coping with extreme cold
We all remember the Beast from the East so here are some tips to stay safe in extreme cold:
- Keep your heating on where possible. At the minimum, keep your heating on a timer to prevent frozen pipes from causing internal flooding
- Clear pathways or driveways with salt and grit
- Remove garden hoses from your outside taps
- Wear shoes with a good grip
- Try to avoid travelling in severe weather. If you must, make sure that you keep blankets, some snacks and a shovel in the car with you in case you get stuck.
Should the worst happen, please visit How to make a claim for further advice.