UK warned to prepare for Storm Eleanor

Stormy weather. Picture: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Stormy weather. Picture: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

With the Met Office issuing a Yellow Weather Warning for Storm Eleanor on Tuesday evening and much of Wednesday (2nd and 3rd January), leading rural insurer NFU Mutual has issued a storm checklist to help people prepare.

Strong winds and rain are predicted across areas of the UK, with gusts of up to 80mph forecast across England and Wales and parts of Northern Ireland and southern Scotland. The Met Office has warned Storm Eleanor – the first storm of 2018 – could cause damage to buildings such as tiles blown from roofs and potential for injuries from flying debris, power cuts and some coastal flooding.

Strong winds in rural areas can cause significant damage as many farms and homes are situated on higher ground and less protected by other buildings. Rural areas can also be prone to power cuts with lines brought down by high winds and fallen trees.

Jon Cawley, Head of claims at NFU Mutual

To maintain close contact with its customers, NFU Mutual’s network of more than 300 local agencies are on standby to help customers when required.

This means that when gales and floods strike the insurer is able to get to affected customers quickly, making emergency payments, arranging alternative accommodation where appropriate and getting drying-out and roof repairs underway.

“Strong winds in rural areas can cause significant damage as many farms and homes are situated on higher ground and less protected by other buildings. Rural areas can also be prone to power cuts with lines brought down by high winds and fallen trees,” said Jon Cawley, head of claims at NFU Mutual.

“It’s important that people are prepared if severe weather strikes. Our claims teams and local agents are on standby across the UK to provide immediate support with claims or emergency accommodation if required.”

While it’s impossible to predict the extent of severe weather, preparation can help prevent damage and limit the recovery time from extreme events.

Preparing for a storm:

At home

Stay alert for Met Office Severe Weather warnings

Don’t risk injury by attempting to clear snow from roofs or attempting emergency repairs while the storm is raging

Prepare for power cuts and make sure you have torches, batteries and that generators are ready

Park your car in the garage if possible

Secure outdoor garden furniture

In flood-prone areas, plan how you can move valuables upstairs or raise them from ground level

Make sure you have you insurer’s emergency helpline available

In the car

Plan journeys carefully, check the weather forecast and only drive if necessary

Check your tyres, as well as the levels of your engine oil, coolant and screen wash. Making sure your lights and battery are in good working order is also important

Keep a torch, blanket, warm clothing, sensible footwear, a bottle of water and a chocolate bar or two in the car

Make sure your mobile telephone is fully charged, and tune into the radio to keep up to date about road conditions

Check you have emergency breakdown cover and the contact details– this may be part of your insurance policy

For further information on weather precautions visit www.nfumutual.co.uk