Storm Rachel is set to hit the UK and is likely to lead to a huge amount of property damage and a spike in home emergency cover claims.
Strong winds and heavy rain will start battering the UK today (Wednesday January 14th) and will continue tomorrow.
Gusts of 50 to 65mph are considered likely and gusts of 75mph are possible in Western and Southern coasts and on high areas, while rainfall of between 20 and 60mm is expected.
Furthermore, temperatures in Scotland will rise, which will lead to a widespread thaw and could lead to localised flooding. Temperatures will drop again over the weekend, bringing the risk of snow showers.
Prevent home emergency cover claims in Storm Rachel
Simply take a few preventative steps to avoid plumbing, drainage and electrical emergencies during the coming storm and avoid the stress and hassle of dealing with problems during stormy weather.
- Keep doors and gates secured, and bring any unsecured items indoors. This will prevent them from becoming damaged by high winds and stormy weather.
- If you can do so safely, take a look at your roof to check for loose or missing tiles. Try to get these problems professionally repaired as quickly as possible. If you cannot fix your roof, prepare for these problems to worsen in the next few days, and get ready to deal with leaks.
- Locate your stopcock and your fuse box, and know how to use them. You may need to turn off your stopcock if your plumbing leaks, and you may need to shut your fuse box off if you suspect your electricity supply has become dangerous or damaged.
- Try to avoid leaving the house when not necessary. Do some shopping when weather conditions are not too dangerous so you don’t have to leave the house when it is hazardous.
- If it is still and calm outside, clean your gutters. Ensure you do so safely.
- Clear any blockages out of external drains.
- Check that external electrical fittings are safe and secure.
- Note down any emergency contact numbers you may require, such as emergency electricians, plumbers and the 247 Home Rescue helpline, and keep this note in a safe and easily-accessible place.
- Prepare a kit that you can grab in a home emergency. This could contain important documentation, emergency contact details, some food, a change of clothes, a dry blanket, a torch, and some spare batteries.
- Think about how you will stay entertained if you have no electricity supply and if you are unable to safely leave the home. Maybe books, a battery-operated radio or a board game could keep boredom at bay?
If you may be affected by flooding
- Prepare in advance by placing sandbags outside your home. Block up airbricks, the gap underneath doors, and anywhere else water might get in.
- Unplug electrical appliances and other electronic items. If you can, move these items upstairs, or put them on top of cupboards and shelves.
- If you cannot move your washing machine and dishwasher, remove them from the plumbing. These items may shift in floodwater, which could lead to an appliance breakdown or damage their connecting pipes.
- Move anything else that may be damaged by water upstairs or out of the way.
- Turn off your gas, water and electricity supply.