Nicolas Maeterlinck

Tips to limit the damage from Sunday’s storm

Heavy rain and gusts of wind of between 100 and 120 km/h are forecast for Sunday when Storm Ciara will sweep across Belgium. The Royal Meteorological Institute (KMI) has issued a code orange storm warning for the whole country. But how can you take measures to keep any damage to a minimum? VRT News has a number of tips to help see you through the first of storm of the 2020’s.

Parks and public woodlands across the country will be out of bounds until after the storm has passed. KMI calls on the public to be prepared for the storm and to follow any instructions and advice given by the authorities. But how can you best prepare for such a storm? Below are a few tips to help keep storm damage to a minimum.

Before the storm:

·        Check that no roof tiles or gutters are loose. Also check that your gutters aren’t blocked.

·        Bring everything that could blow away inside or tie it down. This includes garden furniture, flower pots, dust bins etc.…

·        Trim dead branches from trees and bushes.  

·        Ensure that your pets are inside during the storm.

·        If you bins are collected on Monday, don’t put the rubbish out until Monday morning or even wait until the next collection date.

·        Ensure that all windows and door are closed.

 

During the storm:

Remain indoors if you can. However, we have the following tips for those that have to venture out.

·        Steer clear of parks and woodland and keep away from trees. Do not seek shelter under a tree. Gusts of wind could make branches break off or even uproot a tree.

·        Try to above all use main roads when driving and avoid routes that go through woodlands and forests. Don’t park near to trees and don’t drive along flooded roads.  

·        Used dipped headlight. Rain reduces visibility both for yourself and for other motorists.

·        Moderate your speed and keep enough distance from the vehicle in front. Avoid braking sharply.  

How to survive aquaplaning unharmed 

·        Remain calm

·        Release the accelerator

·        Don’t make any sharp movements with the steering wheel.

·        Above all, don’t brake as it will only make matters worse.

·        Wait until your tyres are able to grip the road surface again.

After the storm:

·        If your property has been damaged as a result of the storm it is important that you take as many photographs as possible for your insurance claim. Storm damage is covered by all domestic fire insurance policies.

·       

·        Find any other pieces such as receipts for damaged items to back up your claim.

·        Do not touch any cables that may have fallen to the ground as they may still be live.

·        Don’t go up onto the roof of your house yourself. Roofers or in an emergency the Fire Service can put a sheet over any damaged areas of the roof awaiting permanent repairs. This will also prevent further damage and is important for your insurance claim.