A new survey says the Scottish population are leaving themselves exposed and vulnerable to hazardous weather conditions.
Research for insurance firm NFU Mutual shows that across Scotland people aren’t in a position to combat the effects of extreme weather this winter, and over a third (31%) of people admit to not being prepared at all.
Despite national disruption from storms such as the Beast from the East earlier this year, 28% of people still don’t have an emergency kit in their cars containing supplies to protect them from the elements.
Severe storms are often unpredictable and can cause major damage to property, as well as serious injury and even loss of life. Even though more than a third of people (33%) worry about the effects of freak weather conditions on their property, NFU Mutual reveals that one in five people have never checked their roof tiles or guttering.
Perhaps one of the most concerning revelations to come from the poll of more than 2,000 adults is that just under a quarter of people (24%) in Scotland admit to not having any kind of insurance to protect themselves or their homes.
In addition, over a quarter (25%) of people that do have insurance admitted to not having checked if their policy even protects their home from emergencies – such as extreme weather – putting thousands of people at risk of expensive repairs.
The results also show that in the midst of a home emergency created by the effects of weather, the general populous wouldn’t be able to act quickly; worryingly, almost a quarter (22%) of Scots don’t know where their stop tap is and one in five do not know where their gas valve is located.
Ross Garner, a home insurance specialist for NFU Mutual, said: ‘It’s very important that people check they have the right insurance in place now, before the weather turns so they don’t get caught out.
‘I’d also encourage people to do some basic “storm ready” checks such as getting familiar with where important switches are e.g. Where is your stop tap? Where is the mains power switch? Check your gutters are clear, stock up on torches and batteries and consider getting an emergency pack together which includes blankets, food and water. Doing simple things like this will give homeowners peace of mind.’
For those people looking to protect themselves against the elements this winter, we have provided some useful tips below:
– Check that your insurance policies have the right cover for you
– Keep properties and businesses in good repair, adequately insulated and lagged
– Keep drains and gullies clear of blockages, leaves and debris
– Regularly check weather forecasts and warnings
– Keep an emergency pack in a dry, cool place with some basic provisions: torches, first aid kits, spare clothing, etc.
– Avoid using cars and other motor vehicles when road conditions are treacherous and ensure they are parked in a safe place
– Be a ‘good neighbour’ and check on vulnerable people in your local area
– Use a ‘common sense’ approach
To find out more about how you prepare yourself for extreme weather click HERE.