With a significant proportion of the borough being bounded by the River Tyne and North Sea, the possibility of severe storms/severe weather cannot be discounted.
Severe gales, heavy snow and heavy rain cannot only damage property and threaten life, it may also seriously disrupt communications and utility supply infrastructure.
The UK Met Office issues warnings to the public in order for residents to prepare and protect themselves against the consequences of a severe weather event.
Severe weather warnings are issued when the following conditions are expected:
- Severe gales
- Heavy snow
- Heavy rain
- Dense fog
- Freezing rain/widespread icy roads
Severe gales are the most common cause of disruption and damage in the UK.
The Met Office provides the following advice for when a storm is due, what to do during the storm and precautions to take after the storm:
Before the storm
- Secure loose objects such as ladders, garden furniture or anything else that could be blown into windows or other objects
- 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 degrees centigrade
- 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 fall, 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 that are sheltered
- 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 have 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