Storm woes and how to prepare
Although we’ve just experienced one of the mildest Septembers on record, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. With weather patterns seemingly becoming ever more unpredictable, and with winter approaching, it’s worth remembering that last year’s storms caused severe coastal damage and widespread flooding*, bringing misery to many.
It’s not unusual for windy and wet weather to cause disruption and damage, so it’s a good idea to take action to minimise the risk to your property. Common reasons for making a storm related claim include damage to roofs, aerials, windows and chimneys.
While we will always do our best to process claims as quickly as possible, there’s nothing that can make up for the frustration and inconvenience that goes with storm and flood damage.
So, we’ve prepared some handy tips which we hope might help you reduce your risk. Meanwhile, do keep up to date with anticipated weather conditions at www.metoffice.gov.uk or via your favourite weather app.
- Get a professional to check your roof is in good condition, and if you have a chimney, that the pointing is in good condition too.
- Secure any loose panels on fencing and any close garden gates tightly.
- Instruct a professional to check your aerial and satellite dishes are secure
- Seek the advice of a tree surgeon and instruct to cut down any loose or overhanging branches in your garden, particularly any close to windows and power lines.
- Keep gutters free of debris and check that the brackets are not rusted or they might break loose.
- Check that brackets are fixed securely to the fascia board, particularly if the facia board is showing signs of decay.
- Ensure all garden furniture, children’s toys and any other loose objects are stored away or secured to the ground to protect your windows.
- Check outdoor signs are tightly anchored and secure.
- Put temporary flood protection measure in place e.g cover air bricks with sandbags.
- Gather essential items together upstairs or in a high place, such as torches, medication, a battery operated radio and waterproofs.
- Fill jugs and saucepans with clean water.
- Move ground floor occupants upstairs (or to a high place with a means of escape).
- If you have time and it is safe to do so, turn off gas, electricity and water supplies when flood water is about to enter your building.
- Do not on any account touch sources of electricity when standing in flood water.
- Leave freezers and refrigerator doors open.
- Put sandbags in toilet bowls to prevent sewage back-flow.
Flooding can be sudden. Do listen out on local radio for updates (England and Wales call the Environment Agency Floodline on 0845 988 1188 or check their online warning service. For Scotland contact Scottish Environment Protections Agency at www.SEPA.org.uk 0345 9881188)
For a copy of our Legal Expenses guide click here.