This past weekend, many parts of the United Kingdom braced itself for severe storms which passed across Southern regions in the early hours of Monday morning. In some places, winds were recorded at over 80mph leaving 220,000 homes without power and tragically a 17 year old girl dead after being struck by a falling tree.
With forecasting technology able to predict these events well in advance, we’re able to prepare for extreme weather in good time. However, we should all take extra care and precautions when it comes to these ferocious conditions. Below are ten steps to take before, during and after severe storms.
Before the Storm:
- Secure loose objects such as ladders, garden furniture, wheelie bins, trampolines and anything else that could be blown about and cause damage.
- Close and securely fasten doors and windows.
- Park vehicles in a garage if available. Where possible, keep vehicles clear of trees, walls and fences.
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.
- Do not go outside to repair damage during the storm. Don’t attempt to climb ladders or use dangerous equipment.
- Do not drive unless your journey is really necessary. If possible, drive in daylight hours.
After the Storm:
- Be careful not to touch electrical/telephone cables that have blown down or are still hanging.
- Do not walk too close to walls, buildings and trees as they could’ve been weakened.
- Make sure that any vulnerable neighbours or relatives are safe and help them make arrangements for any repairs.
- Check forecasts. There’s a whole host of ways we can keep tabs on the latest weather. Aside from national and local TV and radio coverage, websites such as www.metoffice.co.uk are constantly updated. Use of social media site such as Twitter can also give up to the minute news. There are also a host of mobile phone apps to keep tabs whilst on the move.
One more tip…
If you are in situations where you are alone and are facing difficult conditions, carry a personal alarm. Devices such as Skyguard’s MySOS are fitted with ‘mandown’ technology, which automatically raises an alarm to a 24 hour control centre in the event of a trip, slip or fall – vital if you’re struck down and are unable to call for help.
Thanks to the Met Office for providing these tips.