Prepare for severe winter weather

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  • DebF_EONNext's Avatar
    Community Team
    Hiya Community πŸ‘‹

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    Living in the UK it's fair to say we get our share of weather but how many of us actually prepare for the effects of bad weather? πŸ€” Each year I hear more and more horror stories about the effects of the weather, everything from severe flooding to tornadoes blowing the roofs off buildings πŸŒͺ

    As many of you know I live in Scotland in a rural village. Our tiny village often gets hit with some pretty bad weather which can cause us to be cut off from our everyday lives. Like many other rural areas in the UK we have experienced power cuts, snow storms, had severe flooding and entire woodlands blown to the ground!

    When things like this happen it can be really worrying especially if you haven't experienced it before and are unprepared! It's always good to be prepared and have emergency kits on hand, just in case the worst happens.

    • Household Emergency Kit - After getting snowed in one year I always have an emergency kit ready "just in case". My kit consists of a torch, candles, matches/lighter, a small camping stove and gas, a radio (old school I know but if the power goes so does the wifi), all kinds of batteries including a power bank to charge my phone, a first aid kit, tins of food, pet food and bottled water.
    • Car Emergency Kit - I would recommend a separate emergency kit for the car. Adding things like blankets, a first aid kit, torch, batteries including a power bank, water bottles and long life snacks such as cereal bars. In my car during winter I also carry a snow shovel (in Scotland you can never be too prepared πŸ˜‚) a tow rope and I always have jump leads too - I learned that one the hard way!
    • Sand Bags - If you live in an area prone to flooding then it might be worth having some sand bags to help provide a bit of a barrier.

    In the event of a flood remember that flood water could cause damage to your water and gas pipes or even the electrical wiring in your home. You should turn off the supply into your home to prevent dangerous gas leaks, any further water damage, and risk of harm from live wires. If you're ever unsure of how to do this safely then you should contact your energy supplier. It's also really important that you never ever attempt to touch an electrical switch if you are standing in water.

    Here are some useful numbers you can call in the event of an emergency:

    • Power cuts: 105
    • Gas Leaks: 0800 111 999
    • Emergency Services: 999
    • Non Emergency Police: 101
    • NHS Out of Hours - This is called NHS 111 in England & Wales or NHS 24 in Scotland: 111
    • You should also keep an eye out for information from your local council or radio stations too for updates

    You can also check out the E.ON Next blog for more Essential tips on preparing for stormy weather
    Last edited by EmmaN_EONNext; 02-01-24 at 12:21.
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  • 12 Replies

  • Tommysgirl's Avatar
    Level 45
    @DebF_EONNext

    Some very good tips there. Living in Northumberland, I keep emergency kits in winter too. Can I just add, (with learning from personal experience a few years ago in temperatures of -6C), if you have a gas boiler with a condensate pipe from the boiler to the outside drain, make sure the pipe is insulated with foam lagging, because if it freezes and gets blocked with ice, it can stop your boiler from working, and you'll have to spend time, outside in the cold, thawing it out by pouring warm water over the pipe. You can buy rolls or tubes of insulation from DIY stores or Amazon, and it's very easy to fit. It's best to secure and cover the lagging with duct tape once it's in place to make it water-resistant (a tip given to me by the DIY store owner).

    I always make sure I have a good stock of bird food in for the blackbirds, robins and other wild birds too.🐦
  • geoffers's Avatar
    Level 30
    • Car Emergency Kit - I would recommend a separate emergency kit for the car. Adding things like blankets, a first aid kit...
    Have you considered winter/snow tyres? I bought mine 2nd hand on eBay, but having just changed my car I sold them (mounted on steel rims) on eBay for about Β£100, so someone got a good deal.

    I used to fit them between Dec & Mar (with the odd trip to the Alps) so although they might seem an extra expense: your summer tyres get less wear, so over the lifetime of the car they're probably a no cost item

    Winters aren't just for snow - they perform much better than summers on wet, slimy winter roads, though all season tyres are now nearly as good.

    This vid gives a great comparison between winters and summers...
    https://youtu.be/mfuE00qdhLA
    Last edited by geoffers; 21-11-23 at 17:49.
  • retrotecchie's Avatar
    Level 92
    @DebF_EONNext

    My best emergency purchase was a Brita jug water filter. In the two weeks prior to Christmas we had a burst main because of a freeze that knocked out our village, followed by a thaw that took out the entire county. Twice filtering water from the rain butt and then boiling it gave me enough water for brewing up, washing up and the bare essentials. Without that, it would have been a 60 mile round trip to get bottled water from the council. Many folk I know did the trip only to find they'd run out.

    Don't shoot me, I'm only the piano player. I DON'T work for or on behalf of EON.Next, but am willing to try and help if I can. Not on mains gas, mobile network or mains drainage. House heated almost entirely by baby dragons.
  • WizzyWigg's Avatar
    Level 82
    @DebF_EONNext

    Always used to carry wellies, a spare pair of thick socks and small roll of carpet, along with all the usual things. The carpet was to give the drive wheels some grip. πŸ” ❄ β›„.
  • DebF_EONNext's Avatar
    Community Team
    Good advice @geoffers, I have winter tyres on at the moment as I got a good deal on all 4 so I grabbed them while I had a chance!

    I remember you having issues with water last year @retrotecchie ! That's a really good tip @Tommysgirl also if you're not using your outside tap turn it off and drain it out so you don't get any burst pipes.

    I've never thought about wellies and great tip about the carpet @WizzyWigg we have had to shovel ourselves out more than once. I remember we went up to Glenshee one year in the snow, the car in front and the car behind slipped back down the hill as it couldn't get any traction, we had to get out twice to push them up the hill 🀣 we could have done with some snow chains never mind carpet!
    Last edited by DebF_EONNext; 21-11-23 at 21:14.
  • retrotecchie's Avatar
    Level 92
    @DebF_EONNext

    I've never bothered with winter tyres as I don't see a lot of snow in West Wales and I never had any problems driving in blizzards in Austria and Germany during the ski season. Fortunately, I had a very good driving instructor who taught me to drive in snow in a RWD automatic fitted with cross-ply tyres.
  • DebF_EONNext's Avatar
    Community Team
    @retrotecchie I can barely drive when it's dry I need all the help I can get 🀣
  • geoffers's Avatar
    Level 30
    @DebF_EONNext

    I've never bothered with winter tyres .... I never had any problems driving in blizzards in Austria and Germany during the ski season....
    Presumably you haven't been for a while, as it's now mandatory under the law over there, from 1st November to 15 April (or when conditions require)πŸ‘
    Last edited by geoffers; 21-11-23 at 22:02.
  • retrotecchie's Avatar
    Level 92
    Presumably you haven't been for a while, as it's now mandatory under the law over there, from 1st November to 15 April (or when conditions require)πŸ‘

    It's been a while. Last car I took skiing in Berwang was an E-reg Montego! I spent over a decade working in Germany, and if we timed it right and finished on a Friday near the border, we'd go skiing most weekends in winter. Happy days!
    Last edited by retrotecchie; 21-11-23 at 22:53.