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.

High winds

  • 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 fascia 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.

Flood

  • 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 or call the Environment Agency Floodline on 0345 988 1188.

For a copy of our Legal Expenses guide click here.

*source http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35192138

 

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The sole purpose of this article is to provide guidance on the issues covered. This article is not intended to give legal advice, and, accordingly, it should not be relied upon. It should not be regarded as a comprehensive statement of the law and/or market practice in this area. We make no claims as to the completeness or accuracy of the information contained herein or in the links which were live at the date of publication. You should not act upon (or should refrain from acting upon) information in this publication without first seeking specific legal and/or specialist advice. Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited trading as Deacon accepts no liability for any inaccuracy, omission or mistake in this publication, nor will we be responsible for any loss which may be suffered as a result of any person relying on the information contained herein.