News release text
With Kent facing the prospect of a developing storm bringing strong winds and heavy rain later tonight (Sunday 27 October) and into Monday, Kent Fire and Rescue Service is reminding residents and drivers of important safety tips.
With gusts forecast to reach a potential 60-80 miles per hour, especially on exposed coasts, there is a risk of power failures and fallen trees or debris that may block roadways.
KFRS is encouraging residents to take extra care and to ensure they are fully prepared by following the guidance published on the Kent Prepared website for storms and gales.
KFRS is also encouraging businesses to prepare for this. If you do not have generators or battery back ups for your essential systems they will not work, this can include fire alarm systems, emergency lighting and communication systems. KFRS are encouraging all businesses to ensure they have suitable emergency arrangements in place.
Residents are being reminded that during a storm, the emergency services will be very busy so only call for immediate assistance if there is a risk to life or serious property or environmental damage.
If severe weather leads to flooding in certain areas, motorists are being warned not to attempt to drive through flooded roads or fords. KFRS Head of Community Safety, Stuart Skilton said: “This can be extremely dangerous as the water is often deeper than it looks and may be moving quite fast. Your vehicle may be swept away or become stranded. Do not travel in heavy rain storms unless absolutely necessary.”
Stuart Skilton added: “Following a flood in your home, make sure all electrical circuits are fully dried out and checked by an electrical engineer before switching back on. Please look after neighbours who may be vulnerable. Keep an eye on weather reports on local television or radio news channels.”
Storm and flooding safety advice:
Before a storm
Listen to weather forecasts, and take on board any warnings of extreme weather
Plan any journeys or activities with the weather in mind
Secure loose objects such as ladders, garden furniture or anything else that could be blown away or into windows or glazing
Close and securely fasten doors and windows, particularly those on the windward side of the house, and especially large doors such as garage doors
Park vehicles in a garage if available; otherwise keep them clear of buildings, trees, walls and fences
If you have to travel in severe weather, make sure you have adequate clothing and emergency supplies in your vehicle
During a storm
Stay indoors as much as possible
If you have to go out, try not to walk or shelter too close to buildings and trees
Do not go outside to repair any damage whilst the storm or gale is still ongoing
If possible, enter and leave your house through the sheltered side, closing the door behind you
Keep away from the sheltered side of walls and fences, if they do blow down this is the side they will collapse
Open internal doors only as needed, and close them behind you
Take care when driving on exposed routes such as bridges or high open roads; delay your journey or find alternative routes if possible
Slow down and be aware of side winds. Particular care should be taken if you are towing or driving a high sided vehicle
Do not drive unless your journey is really necessary
After a storm
Be careful not to touch any electrical or telephone cables that may have blown down in the storm
Do not walk too close to buildings, trees or walls as they could have been damaged and weakened due to the storm
Make sure that your neighbours and relatives are safe, and help them arrange for any repairs if appropriate.
make a flood kit of essential items (e.g. copies of your home insurance documents, a torch, waterproof clothing, blankets, prescription medication, bottled water and non-perishable foods, baby food and contact numbers)
check your insurance cover for flood
make a list of important contact numbers (seewww.environment-agency.gov.uk who can help in the event of a flood)
know how to turn off your gas, electricity and water mains supplies
find a safe place for important or sentimental items and think about other items you may need to move (pets, furniture, your car).
In the event of a flood, agree where you will go and how to reach each other.
Visit the Environment Agency website for more advice, flood warnings and to sign up to their Floodline www.environment-agency.gov.uk or call 0845 988 1188