Protect your home during Storm Doris and beyond
By Bea Patel on 23 Feb 2017 in Home Security
As Storm Doris ‘weather bomb’ strikes today, high winds, heavy rain and snow batter the UK. There are reports of 100 mph gusts in Liverpool closing its port, cancelled flights, speed restrictions across our rail networks, and outdoor filming of Coronation Street in Manchester being rescheduled.
With Storm Doris comes flooding, fallen trees and power cuts, and warnings of damage to homes. Homeowners are being advised to take precautions as the risk of flood and wind could damage some building structures.
What can you do now to protect your home?
There are some things you can do to protect your home during Storm Doris. You should look for water damage around your home and check your gutters – and act on any issues you find. You should also:
- Keep all your doors, windows and loft trapdoors closed and check your garage door is locked.
- Move hazardous items from around your home and from your garden. Items such as garden furniture, bins, ladders, children’s toys or ornaments that can blow around and cause damage.
- Bring these indoors or put them in your garage.
- Secure any outdoor items that cannot be moved inside your home or garage.
- Park your car in your garage if you can. If not, try to keep it away from trees, fences and walls.
You should also consider preparing an emergency plan and kit in case you need to leave your home during the storm. Your kit could include items such as:
- Telephone numbers of your insurance company, local council and energy suppliers.
- A copy of your insurance policy.
- Any medicines you and your family need.
- Warm and waterproof clothes, a torch and batteries, water, blankets, mobile phone and your bank card.
What should you do after the bad weather?
Once the storm is over, you should check both the inside and outside of your home thoroughly for any damage. Look for wind damage, flooding or frost damage and report any problems to your insurance company.
How to prepare for future extreme weather or storms
There are steps you can take to safeguard your home from future storms, snow and floods – both outside and inside your home. Aviva’s extreme weather tool provides detailed information on protecting your home. Dave Lovely, Claims Director for Aviva also provides some useful tips to get you started:
• “If your home is at risk of flooding consider replacing carpets with hard floors, moving plug sockets up to a higher point on the wall and using water-resistant paint for the walls.
• “Storm damage can be avoided by pruning tree branches, replacing loose roof tiles, maintaining fences, clearing gutters and re-pointing a crumbling chimney.
• “The best way to avoid a burst pipe is to lag pipes and keep the heating on – especially if you’re planning to be away from home for any length of time.
• “Snow and ice can cause mayhem on the roads. It’s worth stocking up now with a bag of grit – for icy drive-ways; and a de-icer, scraper and blankets for the car.”
To stay ahead, use Aviva’s checklist to determine possible issues you may have with your home. These could be problems with electrics, plumbing, your garden or the exterior of your property.
Statistics from Aviva revealed the worst month of the year for storms is January, with the average cost of a storm claim around £1,200. A burst pipe claim is £5,000 with 27 December the worst day for burst pipes.
For a building and contents policy over the past 10 years, the typical home insurance pay-out is £33,000 in a flood risk area.
Feature image credit: Aviva