How to protect your property from Storm Barbara
Storm Barbara is forecast to hit the UK tomorrow (Friday), and insurers are reminding property owners of some sensible steps they can take to help minimise damage to their homes and businesses.
The Met Office has issued yellow and amber warnings of high winds for Scotland, Northern Ireland, northern Wales and northern England.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) is highlighting some simple, practical steps for people in the areas due to be affected:
- Keep a close eye on weather forecasts from the Met Office and advice from the Environment Agency, Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and the Northern Ireland Rivers Agency.
- When high winds are expected, make sure no loose items are left in your garden or around the outside of your property. Store or tie down items where you can.
- Make sure you have contact details for your insurer to hand, particularly their 24 hour emergency helpline, as well as numbers for utility providers and local authorities.
If there’s any chance of heavy rain also posing a flood risk, there are further steps you should take to minimise potential damage to your property or possessions:
- Install any temporary flood resistance measures such as flood gates and toilet bungs
- Move valued possessions and as much furniture as possible upstairs if you are able to.
- Don’t forget your car; if it’s safe to do so, move it to higher ground
- Prepare a bag of emergency supplies in case you have to evacuate your property. Include items such as bottled water, spare keys, blankets, a torch and essential medicines.
Mark Shepherd, head of property at the Association of British Insurers, said: “With so many things to prepare for at this time of year it could be easy to overlook some other simple preparations which could help minimise damage to your home or business from severe weather. We’re now well in to storm season, and Storm Barbara is unlikely to be the last storm to hit the UK this winter.
“It is worth keeping an eye on the weather forecasts for the next few days and being prepared. Insurers expect storms at this time of year and are ready to deploy their teams to affected areas and answer calls should the worst happen. If you’re not in the path of Storm Barbara, this is still an important reminder to think about whether you have the right insurance cover in place.”