9 Ways to Prepare for a Storm
1. Check your guttersIn the summer, gutters often go forgotten and dirt and other debris can quickly build up. This becomes an issue when heavy rain sets in and the gutters are unable to fulfil their job of helping transport water to the drains. Blocked gutters can result in heavy rain causing leaks and interior wall damage. Check your gutters frequently, and act quickly if a problem arises.
2. Check your roof
During a storm, the roof is one of the most common areas to be damaged – and one of the most costly to repair. Ahead of the storm arriving, check the condition of your roof and remove any debris or loose tiles. Have any existing damage fixed as soon as you spot it as this can prevent more costly repairs and emergency callout fees. If you have a chimney, make sure this is also kept in good condition.
3. Check skylights
Look for cracks around skylights. If there’s an issue with the roof, the rain will quickly find its way in – even through tiny cracks in the ceiling. If this is an issue, get this seen to immediately. It’s also really important to pay special attention to flashing too as this helps to direct rainwater safely away from your windows.
4. Move cars
As soon as there is a weather warning for high winds or storms, move your vehicle to safety. Fallen trees can not only be dangerous but also make it hard to claim on your car insurance. Prevention is better than cure, so move your vehicle to a place where it’s unlikely to be hit by falling trees. Remember to also ensure all car doors and windows are properly shut to prevent any rain pouring in.
5. Secure outdoor furniture
Before a storm arrives, you should secure all outdoor furniture. Whether this means moving furniture inside, storing it in garage or using a bungee cord to tie pieces of furniture together, make sure wind, rain or lightning cannot cause any damage to your or your neighbours' gardens. If winds are extremely strong, garden furniture can fly away and cause damage to people and property.
6. Charge battery packs
Storms can often knock out power – especially in rural areas. It’s always a good idea to charge up battery packs before the storm sets in. This will allow you to charge things like your mobile phone and USB torches in the event of a power cut. If the electricity does cut out and you must resort to candles for light, always be careful.
7. Purchase more food for a couple of days
Never go out in a storm unless it is essential. When it comes to food shopping, stock up on essential items and canned foods in the days leading up to the storm. If you have a vulnerable or elderly neighbours, why not check in with them and ask whether they need anything too?
8. Check on neighbours
After a storm, stop by to check on your neighbours. This is particularly important if you have elderly or vulnerable neighbours that have not had the chance to go shopping. Your neighbours may also not be aware of the damage caused by the storm, so it’s a brilliant opportunity to help them check.
9. Work from home if you can
Storms can cause a huge amount of disruption when it comes to travel. A day might start calm, only for it to end with severe traffic jams, train cancellations and delayed flights. Work from home if you have the option to do so.
Gareth Rondel, head of sustainability delivery at Barratt Developments, said:
“Unfortunately, climate change is going to lead to more extreme weather, including heatwaves and storms. This is why it helps to be prepared for a storm when it comes to preventing damage to your property. Take steps to minimise any damage prior to, during and after the stormy weather, but only do so safely.
“If your property is damaged, contact your home insurance provider as soon as possible. They will offer help and advice about what to do next. Never throw away any items that have been damaged in the process of the storm as you might need to provide them as evidence when making a claim. And, where possible, contact your insurance provider before carrying out any emergency repairs. Take pictures of everything and keep all receipts and invoices.
“As the country’s leading national sustainable housebuilder, we are doing all we can to help climate change and reduce our CO2 emissions. 99% of our homes currently have an energy rating of A or B and we have committed to making all our homes net zero by 2030.”