Because it’s best to tread cautiously, says Sam Wylie-Harris.
It’s not the weather forecast we were hoping for, as Storm Evert sneaks up on our shores and dashes any hopes of a jaunt to the seaside. Winds of up to 75mph are whipping the south west and coastal gales and rain set to affect parts of the UK.
A wash out weekend, with an amber weather warning issued for the south of England chances are you’ll still need to venture out with the kids , those long awaited grand re-openings or better still, a wonderful wedding.
But before you grab your brolly (it’ll need to be super strong) or pile into the car, spare a thought for the travel disruption and potential danger the storm might cause, and stay safe out there.
DO plan ahead
If you must travel, keep checking the local weather forecast, fuel up the car, pack blankets, plenty of water and something to eat, just in case. Leave plenty of time for your journey with debris on the road and flood warnings and drive slower than usual.
DO dress for the weather
If you can’t resist visiting a coastal area or countryside for the invigorating fresh air, make sure you wear the right clothing. It may be high summer but if you get caught out, supportive walking boots and a windbreaker with a hood will be a godsend. Most importantly, a fully charged mobile (and a portable charger) is your must vital accessory.
DO look out for the kids, the dog and the elderly
Blustery weather can be especially dangerous with the vulnerable. Make sure everyone’s wrapped up warm – if you feel chilly in the wind and rain, they’ll feel it even more. Waterproof layers will protect them from the elements and keep the dog on the lead. Severe weather can affect your dog’s behaviour, making them curious or overexcited – and you don’t want to put anyone at risk by having to chase after them!
DON’T walk along cliffs and check the tide times
Tempting as it might be to watch those waves lashing against the rocks, stay clear of cliff edges, coastal paths and piers – and certainly don’t go it alone. Even if you think you’re strong, the wind is stronger, and if you’re on exposed high ground, a slip or trip could be fatal. If you have to cross the beach, check the tide times so you don’t risk getting cut off. In an emergency dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.
DON’T walk under scaffolding
Urban, built-up areas can be just as dangerous as remote paths. While scaffolders take the utmost care to secure their materials, there’s always the chance something might come unfastened in extreme weather conditions. Walk on the other side of the road and watch out for strong gales sending tree branches flying.
Do give camping a miss
If you’re in the worst affected areas of south west England, you may want to reschedule that family camping trip. If you are camping make sure you not to pitch up near any trees to avoid potential falling debris (or whole trunks). Low bushes might offer a safer windbreak. Big standing-height family tents will catch the wind easily, so go for a low-to-the-ground robust one instead.