Top tips on how to prepare for extreme weather in the UK

Winter has well and truly arrived! It's the season to enjoy cable knitted jumpers and hot cups of chocolate. However, it’s not just the drop in temperature we have to watch out for – winter brings bouts of severe weather conditions too. We want to share some of our top tips on how to prepare for storms, floods or heavy snowfall just in case you need them.

 

Snow and extreme frost

If you're in an area of the UK that is prone to snowfall, we have some tips to ensure that you keep warm and safe throughout the chilly months ahead.

 

1. Seal door and window cracks

Invest in a door and window draught excluder kit to keep yourself protected from the winter chill. Draught excluders are a great way to feel the full benefit of a warm and toasty home by sealing every nook and cranny. You could also consider installing loft insulation as it helps to keep more heat in.

 

2. Keep those curtains closed!

Another way to keep your home well heated during the frosty nights is to make sure that your curtains are drawn at dusk. Not only does it create a warm and cosy ambience for your home but it also means that you can save on your energy bills by running the heating for a shorter amount of time.

 

3. Prepare, prepare, prepare!

It's always a good idea to check your local weather channel and sign up to extreme weather warning alerts. Prepare in advance and stock up on all of the home essentials you'll need to keep the family going before a blizzard strikes. Here are a few essentials we couldn't go without below:

Citrus fruit – start your day with a boost of vitamin C to keep your immune system strong.
Granola and power bars – keep yourself energised with long-lasting snacks filled with carbs and fibre.
Canned foods – keep warm with long-lasting soups, veg and beans for your time at home.
Root vegetables – stock up on hearty veg that keeps its freshness for up to two weeks.
Dried fruit and nuts – a great addition to snack on while in the midst of a board game battle!

 

4. Keep your pipes frost-free

Some believe that keeping the heating off throughout the winter months can save money – but in the long term, you may be costing yourself more than you ever imagined. It’s important to run your heating and hot water throughout the icy months to avoid your pipes freezing. This can be a costly job to fix and can leave you without the source of energy you need to run a cosy home. So make sure you keep it running for at least an hour a day.

 

Storms

Storms can be dangerous if your home isn't prepared to withstand gale force winds and a torrential downpour. Here are a few of our tips on how to keep peace of mind during the thunder.

 

1. Keep an eye out for severe weather warning

It’s always a good idea to be prepared for any storms heading your way – that’s why we recommend that you keep in the know and check the MetOffice app or website for the weather in your area. Or, if you want to keep your home safe and smart, take a look on our Smart Home Store and order an Amazon Alexa to notify you if severe weather is on the way.

 

2. Stay fully charged in case of a power outage

Heavy rain and thunder can cut the local power supply. That’s why it’s always a good idea to have an emergency kit at the ready so you’re not put out by any surprises. We recommend that you keep a torch in an easy to reach area and invest in a power generator for home appliances such as the fridge freezer to ensure that your fresh goods are kept safe. 

If you experience a power cut, click here for information and the number you need to call.

 

3. Check for leaks and clear the gutters before the storm

If you know there’s a storm heading your way – hire a roofer to check if you have any loose tiles that can be fixed before it arrives. An exterior checkup of your home is well worth the cost as it can save you from spending a fortune on fixing damages such as roof leaks, crumbling brickwork or weak fences that could be a danger to you and your neighbours. And make sure you clear out your gutters to prevent water from dripping down external walls, which can cause damp.

 

4. Don’t forget about your garden!

The last thing you’d want to worry about in the midst of a ferocious storm is patio furniture and fittings stirring up a whirlwind in your garden! That’s why you should always store your outside movables under shelter.

 

Floods

Heavy rainfall can lead to extreme flooding in some regions of the UK. If you are in a high-risk flood area during the stormy weather, here are a few things you can do around your home to keep yourself and your most valuable possessions safe.

 

1. Raising appliances from the floor

You can save your home and electrical appliances by raising them off the floor onto high surfaces around your home. For example, you can mount your TV onto the wall to keep it safe from the flood waters. You can also raise heavier appliances such as fridge freezers and washing machines by mounting them on a platform.

 

2. Put valuable or irreplaceable items on high-mounted shelves

Possessions are often stored in the loft or a basement of the home which are the most vulnerable places during a flood. That's why we recommend storing family heirlooms, photographs and items of sentimental value on high-raised shelves around your home. You can also invest in a home safe that is securely sealed and will prevent water damage to items of high value to you.

 

3. Hardwood water-resilient flooring

If you're in a high-risk flood area, it is also a good idea to install water-resistant hardwood flooring on the lower ground to avoid bigger costs if the water has damaged the interior of your home. It's recommended to install tiled flooring with waterproof adhesive and grout to ensure that your living areas can withstand the intrusion of flood water once the extreme weather has passed.

 

4. Covers that can be fitted over ventilation bricks

To prevent heavy downpour from drizzling in through your home ventilation systems, you can buy covers that can be fitted over the areas for a reasonable price.

 

And lastly...

As well as your home, please be sure to take care of yourself too!

If you're on a prepayment meter – then make sure you're topped up to keep you warm through the bad weather.

Wrap up warm and eat food filled with vitamins and nutrients to fight off colds and viruses. Information on how to keep yourself healthy this winter can be found here.

If you are affected by extreme floods, put yourself first and go to the highest room within your home. Call the emergency flood line number who will help get you and your family to safety. Information on who to call can be found here.

We hope that you find these tips helpful on how to protect your home throughout the icy, rainy and stormy months ahead.