By: 25 October 2023
NFU Mutual activates storm response plan in wake of Storm Babet

The UK is beginning to recover from the devastating effects of Storm Babet, with more severe weather warnings in place.  

Rural insurer NFU Mutual has activated an emergency storm response plan and has prepared for a spike in claims.  

 Jon Bird, property claims manager at NFU Mutual, said: 

“NFU Mutual has activated its emergency response plan for storms, putting our customer call handlers, loss adjusters and repair network on high alert so we can help customers as soon as possible. Our agents in communities up and down the country are all ready to support their customers and local communities and have been proactively contacting customers who may be at risk of flooding.  

“If you are in an area at risk of flooding, and only if it is safe to do so, consider moving furniture and other possessions away from lower floors, paying particular attention to electrical items. 

“If you suffer damage from the storm or flooding, make a claim with your insurer as soon as possible. Although it can be difficult to contemplate another devastating weather event, now is the time to think about the future. If your insurer is arranging repairs, ask them about flood resilient repairs rather than simple restoration.” 

  

NFU Mutual’s storm resilience guide 

  

  • Make sure all doors and windows can be securely closed. 
  • Prepare for power cuts: Have torches and batteries to hand and make sure any generators are ready to use if required. 
  • Inspect your property and make repairs to things like loose fence panels or gates. 
  • Make sure gutters are not leaking and are clear debris. 
  • Have a space to put loose outdoor furniture like garden chairs and trampolines. 
  • Safely check that tiles, slates and roofing sheets are in place. 
  • Inspect trees on your property, removing loose or overhanging branches. 
  • Repair or unblock any faulty drains. 
  • If you have a garage, clear a space for your vehicle in the event of a storm. If you do not have a garage, plan where you can park vehicle during a storm – this should be away from any walls, fences or branches which could fall and damage the vehicle. 
  • Protect and lag water pipes in vulnerable areas and know where the water supply is so that you can turn it off in the event of burst pipes. 
  • Stay alert for Met Office weather warnings in your area. 
  • Have your insurer’s emergency helpline number available. 

 

Additional advice for business owners 

  

  • Ensure you have emergency contact details for employees to maintain contact during an extreme weather event. 
  • If you have company vehicles, make sure these are parked away from walls, fences or branches which could damage the vehicles. 
  • Make sure outdoor signage or displays can be secured or brought inside. 
  • Ensure you have adequate signage warning customers of things like wet floors that may be more common during extreme weather. 
  • Prepare an emergency evacuation route in the event of unexpectedly severe weather. 
  • Ensure central heating will come on during freezing weather to avoid frozen pipes and consider procuring sandbags to protect your business in the event of a flood. 
  • Make sure you have a way of communicating closures with customers. 
  • Consider transport routes to the business and whether traveling will be safe and practical. 

 

While driving 

  

  • Drive slowly and steadily and leave larger gaps between vehicles. Wet conditions can increase stopping distances by ten times. 
  • In windy weather, leave plenty of room when passing other road users, particularly vulnerable road users like walkers, cyclists and motorcyclists. 
  • Avoid braking suddenly, slowing down gently before corners and junctions. 
  • Accelerate slowly, keeping revs low. 
  • Take care approaching junctions where road markings may be less visible.

 

Image: Canva
Emma Cockings
Emma is a content editor for Claims Media.