Photo Credit: independent.co.uk
Recently, the strong winds brought by Storm Eunice has been felling and uprooting trees, removing roof tiles and causing untold damage to lives and property across Hertfordshire and the UK.
Sadly, major news media reported a few deaths including a lady hit by a tree in Highgate, a man in Merseyside that was a victim of debris smashing through his van and a young Dad in Alton, killed by a falling tree. These events have been truly sad and we pray for the families and friends of the departed.
The general warning by the authorities especially the Met Office has been to remain indoors and avoid going out if possible. Transport infrastructure has been affected from roads to rail and even many airlines had to cancel their flights for a number of days.
Sincerely, we are hoping we have come through the worse of these extreme weather conditions and are looking forward to a great spring break. Indeed, a bit of mild normal sunshine and sprinkles of rain could do us great good.
For many, a tree may have fallen in your back garden or you may have lost a few roofing tiles or fence panels. Here we highlight some steps you can take to keep you and your home safe while we recover from the events of the last few days.
First, make sure your gas and electricity supplies are still active. If you smell gas, get to fresh air (preferably outside) and call the emergency services for assistance immediately. For electric faults, keep appliances unplugged or turn off their circuit breakers to avoid fires.
The emergency services have reported that due to downed powerlines and broken phone lines, there may be a shortage of assistance. Try to help those that are more vulnerable than yourself if you can.
If you have any broken windows due to flying debris, make sure you cover them, or else severe weather could enter your property and cause further damage. You can use materials like cardboard to cover windows if nothing else is available. If you have a working fireplace, this can be used to provide heat.
Photo Credit: bbc.com
Keep a full water supply in case further storms hit whilst we're still recovering from this one, but store it carefully away from the rest of your household food to avoid contamination.
If you have fallen roof tiles or part of the roof of your property has blown off, contact a professional roofing company as soon as possible to assess and repair the damage. Feedback from lots of people affected shows that roofing companies are extremely busy at the moment. If possible, use alternative materials like cardboard or plastic to damaged areas that have been affected so that you limit further damage to your property. Try and arrange the next possible appointment with your local roofer.
If you have lost a few fence panels to the storm, try and fix them back if possible otherwise reach out to a professional fence company to fix your panels and secure your property again. Only attempt to do any of these tasks if they are absolutely necessary. If you can't fix back your fence panels or can't reach a fence contractor, then leave the panels in a safe place on your property until you can get help.
If you have a fallen tree on your property, then you will need the assistance of a tree removal company to safely take it out. Contact any local tree service company for assistance. While you wait for assistance, clear the area as best as you can to avoid any further damage.
If there are access issues to your property due to Storm Eunice, call emergency services immediately. They should be able to guide you on how you can evacuate the property safely if needed. No one wants to take chances with their lives, so please do not hesitate to call if you are in need. Do not interfere with the property yourself and do not fix any broken objects, but wait for help to arrive.
Damage reports have shown that there was a large increase in injuries as well as fatalities as a result of Storm Eunice. Please answer your calls and do not put yourself at risk by trying to fix areas that aren't immediately hazardous. The time to talk about your insurance is now, so please call your agent at the number listed on your policy statement.
Your priority must be to be safe and avoid any form of injury or loss of life. Stay indoors as much as possible. Only take walks if the area around you is calm and report any incident even if it doesn't affect you directly. In Hertfordshire, we have seen some flash flooding in some areas and trees falling onto roads or power lines. Where possible report incidents to the emergency services to protect other people.
It seems that Storm Eunice has not slowed down completely. Please stay safe and do your best to keep yourselves dry and comfortable while we wait for this weather to pass.