Is your home storm-ready?
Storm Ophelia is the first of the seasonal storms to hit the UK. Severe weather conditions are clearly dangerous, plus they can cause expensive damage to your property if you don’t properly prepare.
Co-op Insurance has published guidance on how homeowners and tenants can protect their homes from storm damage.
Outside the home
- Secure items in the garden such as furniture, pot plants, ladders and children’s toys, or bring inside the house if you have space
- If possible, check that your fence panels are secure
- Park your car away from large trees in case there are any falling branches
- If you are in a flood risk area, if possible move your car to higher ground where flooding is less likely – but don’t drive if it’s not safe to do so
- Don’t take any unnecessary risks.
Inside the home
- Have a storm kit ready including any essential items such as blanket, torch, water and easy to eat non-perishable food
- Make sure that all windows and doors are closed and locked
- Have emergency contact numbers in a safe place i.e. insurance claims number and policy number, local authority and utility company contact details
- Move any valuable or essential items in your property upstairs
- Unplug all your electrical items in case of any power surges
- Know where to switch off your utilities at the mains – gas, electricity and water
- Back up computers and switch them off to avoid losing any sentimental items e.g. photographs
- If you lose power, have a torch at the ready instead of candles as these could pose a fire hazard
- Keep pets warm and indoors
- Check on any neighbours you feel may need support.
Jonathan Guy, head of claims at Co-op Insurance, said: “If you have any neighbours who may need support, check to see if they need your help before and after the storm.
“If your home is damaged by bad weather, contact your insurer as soon as possible so that they can assess the level of damage and make the necessary arrangements to deal with your claim as they may also need to help you arrange alternative accommodation.”