Storm Eunice: Advice to stay safe

The  UK Met office has issued another weather warning ahead of Storm Eunice which is due to hit the UK on Friday 18 February and may cause significant disruption due to extremely strong winds.

Find information on the storm warning on the Met Office website.

Whilst there is still some uncertainty in the track of Eunice, there is an increasing likelihood of widespread inland wind gusts of 60-70 mph and up to 80 mph in a few places.  Please keep up to date with the weather forecasts.

What to expect

  • There is a good chance that flying debris could result in a danger to life.
  • Damage to buildings and homes is likely, with roofs blown off and power lines brought down.
  • Roads, bridges and railway lines are likely to close, with delays and cancellations to bus, train, ferry services and flights.
  • Large waves are likely, and beach material is likely to be thrown onto sea fronts, coastal roads and properties.
  • There is a good chance that power cuts, possibly prolonged, could occur and possibly affect other services, such as mobile phone coverage.
  • It is likely there will be falling branches and some uprooted trees.

Before the storm

  • Secure loose objects such as ladders, garden furniture or anything else that could be blown into windows and other glazing and break them
  • Close and securely fasten doors and windows, particularly those on the windward side of the house, and especially large doors such as those on garages
  • Park vehicles in a garage, if available; otherwise keep them clear of buildings, trees, walls and fences
  • Close and secure loft trapdoors with bolts, particularly if roof pitch is less than 30°
  • If the house is fitted with storm shutters over the windows then ensure that these are closed and fastened
  • If chimney stacks are tall and in poor condition, move beds away from areas directly below them.

During the storm

  • Stay indoors as much as possible
  • If you do go out, try not to walk or shelter close to buildings and trees
  • Keep away from the sheltered side of boundary walls and fences – if these structures fail, they will collapse on this side
  • Do not go outside to repair damage while the storm is in progress
  • If possible, enter and leave your house through doors in the sheltered side, closing them behind you
  • Open internal doors only as needed, and close them behind you
  • Take care when driving on exposed routes such as bridges, or high open roads, delay your journey or find alternative routes if possible
  • Slow down and be aware of side winds, particular care should be taken if you are towing or are a high sided vehicle
  • Do not drive unless your journey is really necessary.

After the storm

  • Be careful not to touch any electrical/telephone cables that have been blown down or are still hanging
  • Do not walk too close to walls, buildings and trees as they could have been weakened
  • Make sure that any vulnerable neighbours or relatives are safe and help them make arrangements for any repairs.

Advice for those that take medication that needs to be refrigerated

Storm damage is expected and could result in power cuts. Although power is usually restored quickly and fridges maintain a cold temperature for a while once power is cut it can be worrying if your medication needs to be stored in the fridge.

The reason that some medications need to be kept in the refrigerator is to maintain the stability and effectiveness of that medication.  Examples can include insulins, antibiotic liquids, injections, eye drops and some creams.

These medicines must be stored between 2ºC and 8ºC (35.6 – 46.4 Fahrenheit).  Allowing these medicines to reach room temperature does not make them harmful, but they may well become less effective, depending upon how warm they became and for how long.

If you have concerns about the medication you’ve had stored in the refrigerator at home following a power cut, please check the Patient Information Leaflet found within the medication box and if you’re still unsure or you have any questions about the safety and/or storage of the medication, please contact your community pharmacy for expert advice and they’ll advise you on what to do next.

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