As Storm Ali hits Northern Ireland, we hope our customers and colleagues are taking the appropriate measures to stay safe.
To assist, we have compiled tips for staying safe both in the car and in the home.
In the Car
If you need to get behind the wheel in severe driving conditions, then make sure to abide by these rules before you leave home.
• Plan your route carefully and well in advance. Check for road closures, floods, and traffic – anything which could negatively impact your journey.
• Make sure you have a spare wheel, and that it is in working order.
• Pack an umbrella, blanket, and water in the car in case of a breakdown mid-journey.
• Drive slowly at all times, but importantly on motorways and dual carriageways, staying away from large vehicles who can cause water spray, decrease visibility and sway.
• Listen to a local radio station, which will give frequent weather and travel updates.
• Finally, carefully consider if you really need to drive before you go. Is it something which could wait until bad weather has passed? Weigh up risk versus reward and make your decision.
In the Home
The most common advice from authorities in the event of a storm is to stay home. However, your home needs to be adequately prepared in extreme conditions too.
• Safely store any ‘loose’ objects outside your home. By these, we mean patio furniture, plant pots, gardening equipment, anything which could be picked up by the wind and cause harm either to your home, or another person.
• Check trees and plants in your surrounding area. Strong winds can uproot trees, causing horrific damage.
• Keep an abundance of working flashlights close to your doors and on your person. Should the electricity go off, you’ll be glad to have them close to hand and candles can be a big fire risk in storms.
• Stock up on essential food items, like milk, bread, water and tinned foods like tuna fish, beans and soup. Should the power go off, don’t open the fridge until you really have to, the longer it stays shut the better.
• Keep an emergency first-aid kit, stocked with bandages, medicine and other medical essentials.
•Finally, don’t venture outside if you don’t have to. Debris, foliage and other loose items can be blowing and you might be at risk if in their paths. Find a safe spot in your home, away from a window, and stay put.