Homeowners in the UK are being encouraged to protect their homes and to prepare for what looks set to be a grim winter as Storm Caroline is brings gusts of wind up to 90mph.

[Read more: How to storm-proof your home]

Here, we look at how you can weather proof your home against Storm Ophelia.

First things first

It’s worth checking your property and its immediate surroundings for obvious, preventable risks. If any home and garden improvements need tending to, now is the time to do them.

This could include falling roof tiles, broken fences and crumbling brickwork. This may appear harmless at first glance, but could end up costing more post-storm, and pose harm to your home and family.

Keep it sealed

During high winds, wind speed can fluctuate and place huge pressure on every element of the building. To avoid this, or at the very least minimise the hazards it can cause, homeowners should try to keep their property well-sealed externally. Inspect all exterior corners and outdoor water faucets, and seal any gaps in outer walls or foundations with foam or caulk to prevent cold air and water entering the home.

Up on the roof

The roof is one of the most exposed parts of a home, so it goes without saying it needs to be secured properly during stormy conditions. Steer clear of walking across the roof yourself (especially in adverse weather), and instead inspect it from the ground or the inside of the loft.

If you spot mould, rusted nails, sagging material, loose sheathing or signs of leaking, call in a specialist. Damaged guttering must be considered too.

A real pane

When gale force winds are howling outside and the windows are rattling, it’s easy to worry they’ll break at any moment. Realistically, if you draught-proof your windows and doors with a sealant, secure entry doors with a hinge and locks, and consider installing solid or hollow metal doors, it’s unlikely you’ll experience extensive damage, if any.

If extreme conditions ensue and flying debris becomes an issue, protect the windows and any French doors with some plywood.

Garden gusto

It’s a strange sight when you spot a large trampoline being whisked through the air and over your neighbour’s fence. Avoid the inevitable by ensuring all garden furniture, barbecues, toys and anything else that could be launched into the air is stored away in a shed or similar.

Trim back any suspect trees, and park your car out of their path or, if possible, in a garage. Finally, secure garage doors and make sure yours is strong enough to withstand high winds.