Today’s Solutions: May 19, 2024

Last weekend, Storm Eunice (also known as Storm Zeynep in Germany and Storm Nora in Denmark) devastated much of the UK and Western Europe, ranking as one of the three worst storms recorded since 1970, according to KNMI, a Dutch meteorological office.

The storm’s high winds reached record speeds of 122 miles per hour in England, causing trees to topple, roofs to blow off buildings, resulting in 17 fatalities, many more injured, and leaving millions without power in affected areas.

Though the worst is over, many are now wondering what they can do to better prepare should another windstorm such as Eunice blows through in the future. “In some cases, it’s inevitable that damage will be caused no matter how hard we try to prevent it,” says Huz Member, director at UK construction and building materials provider Buildworld. “But there are a number of steps we can take to put ourselves in the best position possible.”

Here are some of Member’s useful tips to help homeowners everywhere effectively prepare themselves for natural events like Storm Eunice in the future.

Secure any possessions outside of the property

If there’s a powerful storm in the forecast, ensure that objects that are at risk of getting swept away (such as trampolines and garden furniture) are put in storage or secured tightly with ropes and heavy objects so that they don’t get hurtled by the wind and end up causing serious damage to buildings or people.

Check your gutters regularly

It’s easy to forget about gutters, but if they’re left alone for too long, they are sure to be clogged with dirt and other debris, which prevents gutters from doing their job: helping rainwater travel through the drains. 

If gutters remain blocked, then water can overflow and leak into your home, causing damage to the interior.

Move your vehicle to an open space

When there are strong winds involved, vehicles are at risk of being crushed if they’re parked by large trees or other heavy objects. If you normally leave your car parked on a city street lined with tall trees, consider moving it to an open area like a nearby parking lot to reduce the chances of damage caused by falling objects.

Close gates and external pathways

Garden fences and gates can fly open, or worse, get blown off, by a strong gust of wind, which could cause even more damage, especially if they’re made out of fragile material such as wood. 

Make sure all gates are securely shut and pathways are closed off to protect not only the gate, but any items stored within the area.

Protect your roof

Roofs are particularly vulnerable during high winds and are unfortunately quite costly to repair should they get damaged.

Before the storm arrives, make sure to check the condition of your roof, removing any loose tiles you notice as you do so. Take note of existing problems and try to repair them as soon as possible, as this can prevent your roof from sustaining more severe (and expensive) damage.

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