Storm Abigail: top tips to minimise damage
Heavy rain and high winds are expected to hit Britain tomorrow as Storm Abigail arrives on UK shores. Here are some top tips to minimise damage.
The Met Office has predicted winds of between 60 and 70mph will affect most of the country, but has issued a yellow weather warning in Scotland where gusts of up to 80mph are expected in rural and exposed areas.
Storms can come and go quickly, but resulting damage can be disruptive and take a long time to repair.
Data from the Association of British Insurers found insurers dealt with more than 420,000 storm-related claims during the winter of 2013/2014, with a bill of nearly £600m for the damage.
Below, Mark Hallam, head of products at Swinton Insurance, shares his top tips for minimising storm damage:
- Make sure all fixtures and loose objects around your house and garden are either stored in a safe place, such as a shed or garage, or securely fastened down. Objects such as fence panels and garden normally aren’t covered by insurance policies and can easily come loose in a storm.
- Close and fasten doors and windows. High winds can cause serious damage to frames and panels so ensuring they are secure is essential.
- Take care to clear gutters and drainpipes of blockages and fallen leaves to ensure rainwater has somewhere to drain and isn’t likely to build into a flood.
- Park your car in a garage to reduce the risk of loose flying objects damaging the vehicle. If this isn’t possible, make sure it is parked away from large trees.
- Heavy rain may cause flash flooding or cause rivers to burst their banks. To minimise damage use sandbags to block potential water entry points like doors on the ground floor and garden gates. You can usually obtain these from your local authority but be aware there may be a charge.
- Ensure your insurance documents are somewhere safe and easily accessible. This may require making a digital copy or passing it to a friend or neighbour.