There's a number of things you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones against extreme weather.
With gale force winds, it’s time to batten down the hatches! Here’s how to protect yourself, your home and your car from the worst of the storms.
Loads planned and not sure whether to go out? Keep up to date on the weather with the Met Office’s weather app, which features severe weather warnings. That way, if there’s going to be a month’s worth of snow an hour after you’re due to meet friends in the pub, you’ll know you’re better off staying in.
As the saying goes, there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes. Fashion literally flies out the window in the face of a storm, so if you have to go out, dig out waterproof boots with grip, a woolly hat, scarf, gloves and the thermals to trap heat.
Every year there are horror stories about people being killed by falling tree branches and other debris in high winds, as well as slipping on ice. Be sensible and try and keep a weather eye out.
If, at the first sign of an icy blast, your hands turn red raw and your knuckles bleed, invest in a good hand cream. Don’t skimp on your daily cleansing and moisturising routine.
Protect your home
Stock up on store-cupboard essentials including tins of beans and pulses like lentils, which make for easy and filling soups should the worst happen and you do get snowed in.
Stow a torch, spare batteries, candles and matches in a safe and easily accessible place, along with extra blankets, in case you lose power. If the gas and electricity both go, keep warm and use your supplies sparingly because it may be a while before they’re up and running again.
If you’re in a flood risk area, prepare a flood plan and pack a kit in case you need to leave your house. Your kit should include insurance documents, medicine, clothes and toiletries and nappies and baby food for any little ones.
Leaks are more likely in adverse weather, so inspect your roof for damaged or slipped tiles by looking for chinks of daylight in the loft and using binoculars outside. Even a relatively small gap in the tiles can let in enough water to cause damage, so call in a roofer.
Protect your car
Saga Motor Insurance found that 25% of people in their 50s will become taxi drivers this month, ferrying around children and grandchildren in the adverse weather. Whatever your reason for being on the road, Saga recommends the following:
1. Check your oil and anti-freeze levels and top up if necessary.
2. Check tyres for tread depth and pressure and, if you can afford them, consider upgrading to winter tyres.
3. Prepare a breakdown kit – including a torch, bottled water, snacks, a blanket, warm and waterproof clothing and a shovel.
4. De-ice your car before you travel, ensure all windows are fully cleared and check your lights are working and clean.
With severe weather warnings this week, are you prepared for the elements? Post your comments below.