Row.co.uk Blog

Are You Prepared For A Home Emergency?

Autumn is the season of change, and as far as the weather is concerned, certainly not for the better. As the nights draw in and temperatures fall, we can prepare ourselves for several months of inclement weather ahead - more rain, higher winds, sharp frosts and potentially heavy snowfall. 

Occasionally, the worst of the winter weather is bad enough to pose the threat of damage to our homes, as well as widespread disruption to the wider communities we live in. Storms can bring winds high enough to bring down trees and power lines, or do damage to the roofs of our homes. Sustained heavy rain can lead to flooding, causing extensive damage to homes and business properties.

The combination of heavy snow and plummeting temperatures, meanwhile, brings a variety of risk factors, such as knocking out power and heating supplies, confining us in our homes, causing water pipes to burst when a freeze is severe enough, and also sparking flooding when the big melt commences.

Autumn is therefore the time when we should be thinking ahead and asking what we would do if the worst came to the worst.

Minimise impact

Government advice on preparing for winter emergencies largely centres on having contingency plans in place should our homes become uninhabitable. The main focus of this is flooding, as this is probably the most common reason why people are forced to evacuate their homes. But it could be anything from your hot water and central heating packing in during a severe cold snap to your home suffering heavy structural damage during a storm.

The main thing is to have a plan for where you would go in an emergency. Especially if you have young children or elderly relatives living with you, the priority is to get everyone safe. Having friends or family you have discussed this with in advance means this essential first step can happen as quickly as possible.

If things are going to get so bad you have to leave your home, there is probably not much you can do to stop it. However, there are steps you can take to minimise impact, or to prevent problems escalating unnecessarily. For example, apart from flooding, the classic winter home emergency is your boiler packing in.

It doesn’t have to reach sub-Arctic temperatures for your home to quickly become unbearably cold without central heating. And it doesn’t take much for an under-serviced boiler to stop working. Take the opportunity to get it checked out and remedy faults before they turn into a major issue.

Similarly, give your home a maintenance once over and make sure everything is in reasonably good order. If you know of any little snags that need looking at, don’t leave them. If you know there is a small leak in the roof somewhere, don’t wait for it to become a torrent when the rain gets heavy and persistent enough. It is also a good idea to clean out your guttering, especially to remove autumn leaves, as this will mean water moves from your roof more freely and reduces the likelihood of damage.

Finally, make sure you have up to date insurance policies that cover all bases. The only thing that can make a home emergency worse is to realise that your insurance hadn’t been renewed and you will now have to foot a huge repair bill on top of all the stress.

At Row.co.uk, we offer bespoke policies for every emergency, from boiler breakdown to gas and electricity supply outages, damaged roofs and windows to burst pipes and leaks. Our policies are there to cover you for fast, efficient repairs, paid for in advance, to take some of the weight of worry off your shoulders in an emergency situation and keep you in your homes whenever possible. Click here to get an instant custom quote. 

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