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Advice issued ahead of ‘severe gales’ forecast in Caithness this weekend

By David G Scott

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A leading rural insurer urges people to prepare for high winds this weekend after the Met Office issued a Yellow weather warning across Caithness and the rest of the UK.

"Severe gales" are expected on Friday and Saturday, especially in the west, with patchy ice also likely where skies are clear.

The Met Office Yellow Warning for wind across most of UK on Friday and Saturday saying that "fallen trees can make rural roads impassable" and that "people are urged not to make repairs to properties during high wind".

Met Office weather warning is in place for Friday and Saturday.
Met Office weather warning is in place for Friday and Saturday.

While it’s impossible to predict the extent of severe weather, preparation can help prevent damage and limit the recovery time from extreme events.

Jon Bird, property claims manager at NFU Mutual, said: “Strong winds in rural areas can cause significant damage as farms and homes are often situated on higher or exposed ground which are less protected by other buildings.

“Rural areas can be prone to power cuts with lines brought down by high winds and fallen trees. At times like these, there’s often a strong urge to go out in gales to try and do emergency repairs to roofs, gutters, or other parts of your property.

“It’s vital people pay regard to the conditions and don’t put themselves and emergency services at risk by attempting anything dangerous. Strong gales and patchy ice can also make driving tricky, so motorists are urged to plan their journeys carefully."

Preparing for a storm:

At home

  • Stay alert for Met Office weather warnings
  • Don’t risk injury by attempting emergency repairs to homes while storm is raging
  • Prepare for power cuts by making sure you have torches, batteries and that generators are ready
  • Park your car in the garage if possible
  • Secure outdoor garden furniture in advance
  • Make sure you have your insurer’s emergency helpline available

In the car

  • Plan journeys carefully, check the weather forecast and only drive if necessary
  • Check your tyres, as well as the levels of your engine oil, coolant and screenwasher fluid
  • Making sure your lights and battery are in good working order is also important
  • Keep a torch, blanket, warm clothing, sensible footwear, a bottle of water and a chocolate bar or two in the car
  • Make sure your mobile telephone is fully charged, and tune into the radio to keep up to date about road conditions
  • Check you have emergency breakdown cover and the contact details – this may be part of your insurance policy

For further information on weather precautions visit the Weather Wise | NFU Mutual website at www.nfumutual.co.uk/weather-wise/

Related article:

Met Office warn of high winds at weekend – possible 70-80mph gusts around Caithness coast

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