According to weather reports violent storm/storm force winds will affect the UK, between the evening of Wednesday 14th and Thursday 15th January. Heavy rain will also affect western Britain, particularly western Scotland.

 

Keep up to date

The first thing to do is to check your local weather forecast and keep up to date with the latest warnings.

Know the key messages

Using Met Office warnings are given a colour depending on a combination of both the likelihood of the event happening and the impact the conditions may have. Each colour has a key message.

Find out more about warning colours

Know what to expect and what action to take

Further Advice

There are a number of other agencies involved in dealing with the impacts of severe weather. For further information on what to do during severe weather please check below:

Severe Gales

Gale-force-winds-1341950

Make sure you know what to do

Before the storm

  • Secure loose objects such as ladders, garden furniture or anything else that could be blown into windows and other glazing and break them.
  • Close and securely fasten doors and windows, particularly those on the windward side of the house, and especially large doors such as those on garages.
  • Park vehicles in a garage, if available; otherwise keep them clear of buildings, trees, walls and fences.
  • Close and secure loft trapdoors with bolts, particularly if roof pitch is less than 30°.
  • If the house is fitted with storm shutters over the windows then ensure that these are closed and fastened.
  • If chimney stacks are tall and in poor condition, move beds away from areas directly below them.

During the storm

  • Stay indoors as much as possible.
  • If you do go out, try not to walk or shelter close to buildings and trees.
  • Keep away from the sheltered side of boundary walls and fences – if these structures fail, they will collapse on this side.
  • Do not go outside to repair damage while the storm is in progress.
  • If possible, enter and leave your house through doors in the sheltered side, closing them behind you.
  • Open internal doors only as needed, and close them behind you.
  • Take care when driving on exposed routes such as bridges, or high open roads, delay your journey or find alternative routes if possible.
  • Slow down and be aware of side winds, particular care should be taken if you are towing or are a high sided vehicle.
  • Do not drive unless your journey is really necessary.

After the storm

  • Be careful not to touch any electrical/telephone cables that have been blown down or are still hanging.
  • Do not walk too close to walls, buildings and trees as they could have been weakened.
  • Make sure that any vulnerable neighbours or relatives are safe and help them make arrangements for any repairs.

Heavy Rain

heavy rain

Stay up to date with the latest situation

Forecasting floods depends on the type and nature of the events which trigger them. Short periods of intense rainfall can cause flash flooding, longer periods of widespread heavy rain can cause rivers to overflow and storm surges can cause coastal flooding.

The Met Office works closely with the Environment Agency (EA) in England and Wales and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) to forecast areas where floods are likely.

The Environment Agency, SEPA and local authorities share responsibility for providing advice and information to the public during flood emergencies and can be contacted 24 hours a day via a dedicated Floodline number.

Floodline: 0845 988 1188

Northern Ireland flooding incident line: 0300 2000 100

Make sure you know what to do

Before the flood

  • Find out if you are at risk of flooding on the Environment Agency’s website.
  • Find out if you can receive a flood warning by calling Floodline on 0845 988 1188 or visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk/flood.
  • Create a personal flood plan. Download an easy template from www.environment-agency.gov.uk/flood or phone Floodline on 0845 988 1188.
  • Prepare a flood kit of essential items such as your insurance documents, a torch, a wind-up or battery radio, warm clothing and blankets, a first aid kit and any prescription medicine, and bottled water and non-perishable foods.

During the flood

  • Flood water is dangerous – six inches of fast-flowing water can knock over an adult and two feet of water can move a car.
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood water.
  • Stay safe and listen to the advice of the emergency services and evacuate if told to do so.
  • Gather essential items together either upstairs or in a high place.
  • Fill jugs and saucepans with clean water.
  • Turn off gas, electricity and water supplies when flood water is about to enter your home and if safe to do so. DO NOT touch sources of electricity when standing in flood water.
  • Keep listening to local television and radio for updates or call Floodline on 0845 988 1188.

After the flood

  • Find out from the emergency services if it is safe to re-enter your property.
  • Take care when re-entering your property as there may be hidden dangers caused by flooding such as structural damage and contamination.
  • Ring your buildings and contents insurance companies.
  • Take photos of the damage to your property.

Heavy snow and icy roads

snow-warning

Take extra care

When temperatures fall to sub-zero, the number of deaths from heart attacks peaks three days later, from strokes five days later and from respiratory infections ten days later.

When snow or icy roads are forecast you should adjust your driving to suit the conditions. Black ice isn’t always visible and so can be an even greater hazard for both motorists and pedestrians. Black ice may be formed when rain or drizzle fall on a road surface which is at a temperature below zero.

Make sure you know what to do

Before snow or ice

  • If you have to make a journey when snow is forecast, make sure you have warm clothes, food, water, boots, a torch and spade, and let someone know when you expect to arrive and your route. Try to wait until the roads have been gritted before travelling.
  • Put grit or cat litter on paths and driveways to lessen the risk of slipping on compacted snow.
  • Check on vulnerable neighbours.

During snow or ice

  • Avoid travel if possible.
  • If you must drive check the Highway Code for advice on driving in ice and snowy weather. A summary of the advice is: Take care around gritters. Don’t be tempted to overtake. Slow down – it can take 10 times longer to stop in snowy or icy conditions, so allow extra room. Use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin. Manoeuvre gently and avoid harsh braking and acceleration. If you start to skid, gently ease off the accelerator and avoid braking. If braking is necessary, pump the brakes don’t slam them on. If you get stuck, stay with your car and tie something brightly coloured to your aerial.
  • If you go outside wear several layers of clothing and keep dry to prevent loss of body heat. Watch out for signs of hypothermia – uncontrollable shivering, slow/slurred speech, memory lapse and drowsiness and frostbite – loss of feeling in and pale appearance of fingers, toes, nose and ear lobes. Keep moving your arms and legs to help the blood circulate.

After snow and ice

  • Be careful when walking or driving on compacted snow – it may have turned to ice.
  • Take care when shovelling snow. Cold air makes it harder to work and breathe, which adds some extra strain on the body and can be the cause of heart attacks in the vulnerable.

Travel advice produced in association with the Highways Agency

Thunderstorms and lightning

lightning strike

Make sure you know what to do

Before the thunderstorm

  • Unplug all non-essential appliances, including the television, as lightning can cause power surges.
  • Seek shelter if possible. When you hear thunder you are already within range of where the next ground flash may occur, lightning can strike as far as 10 miles away from the centre of a storm.

During the thunderstorm

  • Avoid using the phone – telephone lines can conduct electricity.
  • Avoid using taps and sinks – metal pipes can conduct electricity.
  • If outside avoid water and find a low-lying open place that is a safe distance from trees, poles or metal objects.
  • Avoid activities such as golf, rod fishing or boating on a lake.
  • If you find yourself in an exposed location it may be advisable to squat close to the ground, with hands on knees and with head tucked between them. Try to touch as little of the ground with your body as possible, do not lie down on the ground.
  • If you feel your hair stand on end, drop to the above position immediately.

After the thunderstorm

  • Avoid downed power lines or broken cables.
  • If someone is struck by lightning they often suffer severe burns. The strike also affects the heart, so check if they have a pulse.

 

Remember should you wish to make a claim please contact our Claims Manager David Puddifer directly on 0151 609 3903 or via Email: dave@bisgnrl.co.uk, you can also find insurers direct telephone numbers under our claims section on the website.

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