Farmers told to prepare ahead of 'severe gales' this weekend

Rural insurer NFU Mutual has issued advice to farmers as the Met Office warned of 'severe gales' this weekend
Rural insurer NFU Mutual has issued advice to farmers as the Met Office warned of 'severe gales' this weekend

Farmers are being urged to prepare for high winds this weekend after the Met Office issued a Yellow weather warning for wind across most of the UK.

‘Severe gales’ are expected on Friday and Saturday, especially in the West, with patchy ice also likely where skies are clear.

Gusts could reach 50 to 60 mph widely - with 70 to 80 mph possible in coastal locations, particularly in parts of Scotland, the Met Office said.

Its Yellow weather warning begins at 12pm on Friday and ends at 6pm on Saturday.

While it’s impossible to predict the extent of severe weather, NFU Mutual said preparation can help farmers prevent damage and limit the recovery time from extreme events.

Strong winds in rural areas can cause significant damage, the insurer warned, as farms and homes are often situated on higher or exposed ground which are less protected by other buildings.

Jon Bird, property claims manager at NFU Mutual, said: “Rural areas can be prone to power cuts with lines brought down by high winds and fallen trees.

“At times like these, there’s often a strong urge to go out in gales to try and do emergency repairs to roofs, gutters, or other parts of your property.

“It’s vital people pay regard to the conditions and don’t put themselves and emergency services at risk by attempting anything dangerous.

“Strong gales and patchy ice can also make driving tricky, so motorists are urged to plan their journeys carefully.

How can I prepare for a storm?

NFU Mutual has issued advice and guidance to farmers and rural businesses to help them prepare for gales:

• Stay alert for Met Office weather warnings

• Don’t risk injury by attempting emergency repairs to homes while storm is raging

• Prepare for power cuts by making sure you have torches, batteries and that generators are ready

• Park your car in the garage if possible

• Secure outdoor garden furniture in advance

• Make sure you have your insurer’s emergency helpline available

• Plan journeys carefully, check the weather forecast and only drive if necessary

• Check your tyres, as well as the levels of your engine oil, coolant and screenwasher fluid

• Making sure your lights and battery are in good working order is also important

• Keep a torch, blanket, warm clothing, sensible footwear, a bottle of water and a chocolate bar or two in the car

• Make sure your mobile telephone is fully charged, and tune into the radio to keep up to date about road conditions

• Check you have emergency breakdown cover and the contact details – this may be part of your insurance policy