Storm Kathleen will cross Northern Ireland, southern Scotland and western parts of England and Wales Saturday 6th April and yellow National Severe Weather Warnings are in place.

It has been forecast by the Met Office that Storm Kathleen will cross the UK from 8am until 10pm on Saturday for parts of western Britain and Northern Ireland and has issued three yellow weather warnings over the next two days. Overnight a band of heavy rain will move northwards across the UK bringing a temporary snow risk for parts of Scotland.

Deputy Chief Meteorologist Christoph Almond said: “Gusts of 50 mph are expected quite widely on Saturday, while some exposed spots, particularly on the coast, will see 60 to 70 mph gusts with large waves also likely.”

As this area of low pressure moves north-eastwards, it will be drawing up unseasonably warm air from Iberia for a time. This warm air will see temperatures rise across the UK, causing some areas to see values above 20°C for the first time this year. The locations likely to see the highest temperatures will be in parts of East Anglia and Southeast England where 21°C or 22°C is not out of the question briefly on Saturday.

To help you prepare for the storm and flooding, the Lansdown team is advising the following steps and precautions so you can safeguard your property.

How to prepare for a storm
  • Secure loose objects in your grounds – such as ladders, furniture or anything else that could be blown into windows and other glazing
  • Close and securely fasten doors and windows, particularly those on the windward side of the building and especially large doors such as those on garages
  • Park vehicles in a garage, if available; otherwise keep them clear of buildings, trees, walls and fences
  • Close and secureClose and secure loft trapdoors with bolts, particularly if the roof pitch is less than 30°
  • If your building is fitted with storm shutters over the windows then ensure that these are closed and fastened.
What to do during a storm
  • Stay indoors as much as possible
  • If you do go out, try not to walk or shelter close to buildings and trees
  • Keep away from the sheltered side of boundary walls and fences — if these structures fail, they will collapse on this side
  • Do not go outside to repair damage while the storm is in progress
  • If possible, enter and leave your building through doors in the sheltered side, closing them behind you
  • Open internal doors only as needed, and close them behind you
  • Do not drive unless your journey is really necessary
  • Take care when driving on exposed routes such as bridges, or high open roads, delay your journey or find alternative routes if possible
  • Slow down and be aware of side winds, particular care should be taken if you are towing or if you’re driving a high sided vehicle
  • Do not park cars near any seafront area as damage by waves and shingle blown from a beach can cause significant damage
  • Do not stand too near any seafront areas. The large waves are a danger.
After the storm
  • Be careful not to touch any electrical/telephone cables that have been blown down or are still hanging
  • Do not walk too close to walls, buildings and trees as they could have been weakened
  • Make sure that any vulnerable neighbours or relatives are safe and help them make arrangements for any repairs.
  • Arrange insurance cover

For times when flood risk is imminent, there are several ways you can monitor the severity of risk in your local area:

  • Sign up to Flood Warnings Direct from EA to receive warnings by phone, text or email. SEPA and National Resources Wales offer similar alert systems.
  • Follow weather alerts on x (previously known as Twitter) – @metofficeUK give live weather updates across the UK.
  • Get the app – NOAA Weather Radar and Alerts is a popular app that gives severe weather warnings.
Preparing For Flood

If you know that you are in a flood-risk area, there are several ways you can prepare for flooding.

Work With Your Community

Visit the National Flood Forum website for useful information including a directory of flood-related products. They work with flood action groups to support communities and households who are at risk of flooding.

Store Essential Flood Equipment

It’s good to keep essentials handy at all times. Keep buckets, sandbags, spades, wellies, bottled water, gloves and other protective clothing somewhere accessible. These will all be useful if flood waters do start to rise close to your property.

Have A Contingency Plan

A contingency plan should outline what you need to do in the event of a major incident such as a flood. Keep emergency telephone numbers and your insurance documents to hand so you can let essential people know straight away.

Flood-Proofing Your Property

There are several ways you can protect your property against flooding:

  • Flood barriers
    Flood barriers are boards that can be installed across doorways and windows ahead of the arrival of flood water. These usually slide into a frame pre-attached to the building structure to provide a watertight seal.
  • Sandbags
    Used in conjunction with plastic sheeting to create a flood barrier.
  • Airbrick covers
    One of the first points of entry of floodwater into a property is via airbrick vents. A plastic cover can be clipped to framework surrounding airbricks to prevent the entry of water.
  • Non-return valves to drainage systems to prevent backflow of foul water into the property.
  • Drainage gullies
    Installed around your property designed to capture surface water and divert it directly to drains.
  • Landscaping
    This can be used to divert surface water away from a building. Care should be taken to ensure water is not diverted onto neighbouring property where it could cause damage.
What To Do During A Flood
  • Safety comes first, think about evacuation before it is too late to move.
  • If flood water is about to enter your property turn off the gas, electricity and water but never touch sources of electricity when there is standing flood water.
  • Move valuable possessions, sentimental and irreplaceable items to safety, if you can move them to upper floors.
  • Take as much furniture as you can to the upper floors, if you can’t move them lift them onto blocks or bricks to minimise the damage.
  • Think about moving cars to higher ground if you know there is a threat of flooding.

Remember, if you have a basement that will be the first area to flood. Flash flooding, especially from a build-up of surface water is a real threat to properties with basement rooms. The water can pour in off the pavement quickly, inundating the room.

Lansdown Insurance Brokers have teamed up with FloodFlash to offer rapid-payout flood insurance, changing the way businesses like yours recover from flooding.

Whether you can’t get cover, have a large excess or just want a top-up to your existing policy for your commercial property, speak to us today.

Take a look at our storm insurance guide to help you further.

About Lansdown

Lansdown Insurance Brokers are specialists in Block of flats insuranceLandlord insurance and Business insurance.

We are able to provide flexible policies to suit individual client needs and provide advice on what cover is needed. For more information call the team on 01242 524498.

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