Six tips to limit damage
1. Check the forecast – Monitor local weather reports for updates. If you have an idea when the storm will hit, you should try to be indoors or somewhere sheltered and, if you can, carry out the following checks on your home.
2. Secure loose items – Ladders, garden furniture, bins and hanging baskets could break windows or damage cars if they blow around. Wherever possible, make sure they’re put away or secured down before the storm starts.
3. Gates, garages and sheds – Strong winds can blow open or unlocked doors off their hinges. This could leave you with costly damage to repair as well as compromising the security of your belongings. Check sheds, garages and gates are shut and locked before the storm hits.
4. Chimneys – If you use an open or wood burning fire, then you should have the chimney and flues swept every year.This will clear the potentially dangerous build-up of soot and any obstructions that may have occurred over the warmer months.
5. Drains and guttering – Clearing leaves and debris that could cause a blockage will help heavy rain flow freely away from your home avoiding potential floods.
6. The roof – If you suspect your home has loose roof tiles or an unstable chimney stack, it’s worth getting these fixed before the storm hits. Under no circumstances should you attempt to repair damage while the storm is in progress.
Five 'Storm Survival' essentials
1. Emergency lighting – Ensure torches are in working order and you have plenty of spare batteries in case the power goes off. Candles and dry matches in an easy-to-reach place can also make life simpler.
2. Food and water – Having bottled water and non-perishable food in – like tins of soup, cereal and long life milk – makes sense if severe weather is forecast so you don’t have to venture out. And don’t forget food for your furry friends.
3. Stay in touch – If your power goes off, charging up phones will be impossible and TVs and radios won’t work. That’s where a battery powered or wind-up radio comes into its own so you can stay abreast of weather warnings, local news and safety advice.
4. First aid – Stock up on plasters, bandages and everyday medicines (aspirin, for example) in case of minor injuries or illness. If you require prescription medication, ensure you have a few days’ supply. Knowing where to lay your hands on warm blankets or sleeping bags is also a good idea.
5. Know who to contact in case of an emergency – Having all your useful numbers together in one place means you won’t have to go looking for them in an emergency.
If you are unsure about carrying out any of these checks then please consult an appropriate and trusted tradesperson.
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