When storm-force winds and heavy rain bring down trees and power lines, the loss of electricity can last several hours or even a few days.
If your home is affected by a power cut it can still be unexpected despite severe weather warnings. But by being prepared for the worst you and your family can remain comfortable indoors until the storm subsides and power is restored. Do check if any vulnerable neighbours are also well prepared.
A power cut may not last long, but first switch off electric cooker hobs and appliances for safety. Leave one light or a mains radio on so you know when the power is back.
When the electricity goes, the television, household radio, phone and the Internet go too.
Remember, a wide locality may be affected by the power cut, including shops and services, and even mobile phone transmitters. Some extra cash and plenty of fuel in the car may be useful, but don't anticipate popping out for a pizza. It's best to avoid unnecessary travel until the storm is over – traffic lights will be down, and roads may be blocked. The local pharmacy could be closed too, so ensure you have an adequate supply of any medications.
During a winter storm, a house without heat being generated will soon get cold. So it's important not just to stay warm, but to stay warm safely.
Never use a generator, barbecue or a fuel-burning camping stove indoors – these devices require adequate ventilation, or else they can produce poisonous carbon monoxide.
While you can continue to cook on a gas hob during a blackout, owners of electric cookers will need some ingenuity to prepare meals.
Take extra care when using an alternative cooking device, or an open fire to keep warm. If your home has a hardwired smoke or carbon monoxide detector, check the backup batteries are working.
If you have AA Home Insurance and your home has suffered storm damage, see our advice on how to make a claim.
Fixing storm damage can be very expensive. AA Buildings Insurance can cover your home against damage caused by storms.
AA Buildings Insurance