As storm Doris wreaks havoc across the UK, here is some advice to help you prepare for high winds and stay safe until it all blows over.
1. Stay Up To Date
Monitor the weather reports on the TV, radio or online. If storm warnings are issued respond quickly and calmly. You can also monitor wind speed yourself using an anemometer.
2. Check Tall Structures
Make sure that all nearby tall structures, including trees, are in good repair. This will help prevent structures falling over and causing damage to your home or injury to other people. For healthy trees, remove any sick or damaged branches using pruners. Dead trees should be removed by a professional. Use
Keep your pets indoors during storm warnings. If you have outdoor pets, make sure that they are sheltered or in a protected location.
4. Secure Large Items
When objects are picked up by the wind they can become dangerous. Secure large items, like patio furniture and bins, to help avoid them getting blown away or blown into other things. Smaller objects should be brought inside if possible.
5. Park Your Car
Bring your car into the garage or a protected area to make sure that it cannot get damaged. Garage doors can easily get damaged due to their size and lack of reinforcement. If you are concerned, or live in an area with a lot of high winds, it may be wise to invest in a kit to strengthen them.
6. Check Windows and Doors
While everything else is being checked and double checked, it can be easy to overlook the most basic problem areas. Always ensure that all of your windows and doors are fastened securely. Drawing shutters and blinds can help reduce the possibility of injury should a window be broken.
7. Identify Your Safe Place
Look around your house and find the safest area. For many houses this will be a basement or cellar, or an inner room with no windows like a bathroom. If you live in a block of flats moving to the lowest floor and staying in the corridor or an interior room is the best course of action. Make sure that all of the doors are closed between you and the outside.
8. Secure Furniture
If possible, move top-heavy furniture, like bookcases, away from the doors and windows. Otherwise, secure the furniture to the walls to ensure that it cannot topple over.
If high winds are happening now, stay inside unless it is essential to leave. Do not drive unless required and do so with great care. To find out when it is safe to leave, keep listening to the weather forecast.