Storm Safety – What you need to know

Following yet another Met Office warning for storms, we look at what can be done to minimise any damage caused to your property. What you should do during a storm, and after? We are blessed in the UK with mild weather but sometimes we do have to deal with storms and severe conditions. With the right protection and practice in place you can hugely reduce the potential damage to your home; saving you both stress and money.

What sort of damage can a storm cause?

Some of the most common ways a storm can affect or damage your property include.

  • Roof tiles. Can be easily blown off with guttering and fascia’s sustaining damage.
  • Gutters. Can become blocked causing water damage to your home and contents.
  • TV Aerials and satellite dishes. Can be torn down in strong winds our specialist insurance policies include cover for such damage.
  • Broken Glass in conservatories, greenhouses, and outbuildings.
  • Falling trees can cause damage to your property or neighbours, boundary walls and fences can also be damaged. Check your insurance policy includes cover for such damage and also the cost to remove the fallen tree.

Preparing for a storm

  • Secure loose objects in your garden and grounds. For example, furniture, ladders, free-standing plants, in strong winds these can be blown into your property or others causing damage especially to windows and other glazing.
  • Gutters should be cleared, blocked guttering can lead to overflowing water causing extensive water damage to your property.
  • If you have any trees within your grounds you should check these regularly and cut back trees and branches to minimise the risk of falling branches.
  • Ensure all windows and doors are fastened securely. If you have any outbuildings make sure they are secure especially large garage doors. If your windows have storm shutters make sure these are closed.
  • Any vehicles should be parked in a garage if possible if you don’t have the ability to do this make sure that they are kept clear of the buildings, trees, walls, and fences.
  • Close and secure loft doors.

What to do during a storm

  • Stay inside as much as possible, do not go out to repair any damage to your home whilst the storm is still raging.
  • If you do have to leave your home then try not to walk too close to buildings or trees.
  • Open internal doors only as you need them and ensure they are closed behind you.
  • Do not drive unless your journey is really necessary.
  • Take care when driving on exposed routes such as bridges and high open roads. Find alternative routes or delay your journey.
  • Do not park cars near any seafront area. Damage by waves and shingle blown from a beach can cause significant damage.
  • Do not stand too near any seafront areas, large waves are a danger to life.

Check after the storm

  • Do a visual check of your property especially for loose tiles. If any are found get them replaced as soon as possible. Loose tiles could mean water damage to your home the next time there is rain. Falling tiles can cause damage to surrounding property or injury to people passing by.
  • If you do have any damage take photos and contact us so we can get a claim raised with your insurer as soon as possible.
  • If you get any emergency repairs done make sure you keep the receipts so that this can be included in any claim settlement.
  • Any fallen electrical or telephone cables should be reported to your electricity supplier and you should stay clear of this area.
  • Do not walk too close to walls, buildings or trees as they could have been weakened and fall at a later date.
  • Check on vulnerable neighbours, friends, and family to ensure they are safe and do the necessary checks on their property and help arrange repair if required.

Make sure you are storm-ready this winter. If your home is affected by a storm contact us for advice and make a claim. If it is out of office hours you can contact your insurer’s 24-hour claims line. All the emergency contact details will be in your policy wording.