As the temperatures start to drop, it is important to ensure your home and car are #WinterReady. Here are some tips on how to prepare yourself for whatever weather Winter may bring.
As the temperatures start to drop, it is important to ensure your car and home are #WinterReady. Here are some tips on how to prepare yourself for whatever weather Winter may bring.
Unfortunate incidents like a power cut or loss of water can be frustrating during the Summer, however during the Winter they can bring more challenges.
Storm Arwen during November 2021 brought very strong winds with the Met Office issuing a red warning for wind for some areas in the UK and further warnings for snow and ice. In the North West region, 93,000 properties were without power due to damaged power lines, with some without power for several days.
It is good practice to check your flood kit and amend it to ensure it is suitable for Winter. This might include adding a blanket, battery phone charger, torch and batteries, a battery radio, candles and matches, tinned food and water supplies, and handwarmers so that you are prepared for all emergencies.
Click here to find out more about what items should be included in your flood kit.
Whilst you are checking your flood kit, it can be useful to take time to check through your flood plan and ensure important contact details, utility providers and insurance information is up to date.
If you would like to find out more on creating your own flood plan, download our guide here.
Residents are responsible for all onsite drainage up to the boundary of their property unless on a shared connection. Take time to walk around your property and check drain spouts, drains and gutters for blockages caused by debris. If you are in a rented property and notice any blockages, you should notify your landlord. If you notice any highway gullies which are blocked with debris, if safe to do so, scrape away blockage away from the gully to allow the flow of water. If the blockage is too big, report it to your highways authority.
Our blog here explains more about the measures you can take to reduce flood risk from autumn leaves.
As recently seen in November 2023, Cumbria experienced very heavy snowfall which happened quickly with little warning and left several motorists stranded. Here’s some quick tips to ensure your car is Winter ready.
Ensure you have the following in your car in case you become stuck whilst out travelling:
Motorists may also become stuck due to heavy rain, traffic accidents or other unforeseen circumstances so ensure you have the necessary safety items to prepare.
Screen wash is vital to ensuring you have a clean and transparent windscreen for safe driving. Ensure you top up your screen wash during winter with an anti-freeze product which is effective down to -20°C. Make sure to use the product neat, rather than diluting with water to maintain the high alcohol percentage which prevents freezing. You may find that the jets and washer pipes have frozen which can leave you unable to use your screen wash. If this happens, you can pour hot (but not boiling) water into your screen wash bottle to thaw it. The use of salt grit on the roads to prevent freezing surface water can make car windscreens cloudy and unclear whilst driving so it is best to ensure your screen wash is thawed and ready to use before setting off.
It is a legal requirement to ensure your front and rear windscreen is clear of snow and ice before driving. A can of de-icer and an ice-scraper takes little time to effectively clear your windscreen, so you are safe to drive. They can be purchased relatively inexpensive from either online retailers, supermarkets, motoring service stores or petrol stations.
The legal tread depth for cars in the UK is 1.6mm, however the RAC recommends a tread depth of 3mm for icy or very wet conditions. Sound and well-maintained tyres are essential in providing your vehicle with traction and grip on icy or wet surfaces. As the temperature falls during winter, so does your tyre pressure so ensure your tyres are inflated to the tyre pressure recommended by your vehicle manufacturer. Under-inflated or over-inflated tyres can have a significant effect on the handling, traction and grip, and wear of your tyres.