Strong winds warning - information and advice

Date published: 23 January 2018

With a weather warning for strong winds in some areas, power cuts are a possibility. There could also be disruption to travel, risk of flying debris, fallen trees and damage to property. There are things you can do to prepare for electricity going off and steps you can take if it does.

Weather warning

A weather warning for strong winds has been sent out by the Met Office.

Weather warnings are sent out by the Met Office to let the public and emergency services know about potentially hazardous conditions.

You can find out more about weather warnings on the Met Office website.

Emergency numbers

You should note the following numbers in case of emergency:

  • Emergency services – 999 or 112
  • Northern Ireland Electricity Networks – 03457 643 643
  • NI Gas Emergency Service – 0800 002 001
  • Northern Ireland Water Waterline – 03457 440 088
  • Flooding Incident Line – 0300 2000 100
  • Housing Executive – 03448 920 901
  • Report a fallen tree or blocked road - 0300 200 7891

Flooding

If any flooding happens, you can report it by phoning the Flooding Incident Line on 0300 2000 100.

There is general flooding advice in the following section:

Roads information

You can get the latest updates about roads at this link:

School closures

You can find information about school closures at this link:

Power cuts

You can get the latest information about power cuts at this link:

Advice for road users

All road users are asked to pay attention to any road signs and temporary arrangements put in place during severe weather.  Longer journey times or cancellations are possible as road, rail, air and ferry services are affected, with the chance that some roads and bridges could close.

High-sided vehicles are most affected by windy weather, but strong gusts can also blow a car, cyclist, motorcyclist or horse rider off course. This can happen on open stretches of road exposed to strong cross winds, or when passing bridges or gaps in the hedges. 

In very windy weather a vehicle may be affected by turbulence created by large vehicles. Motorcyclists are particularly affected, so keep well back from them when they are overtaking a high-sided vehicle.

Motorists are also advised to drive with care due to possible wind-blown debris.

Travel advice

If you're planning to travel by air or sea, you should check with the ferry company or airline in case there are any delays or cancellations.

Strong winds advice

You should: 

  • keep your property in a well-maintained condition (for example  replace/ repair any loose roof tiles, guttering, and so on that could potentially come loose and cause injury or damage to property)
  • secure loose objects such as ladders, garden furniture, wheelie bins, trampolines, or anything else that could be blown around
  • close and securely fasten doors and windows
  • park vehicles in a garage (if you have one) or keep them clear of buildings, trees, walls, and fences
  • make sure you are prepared should there be a power cut

During a storm you should:

  • stay indoors as much as possible
  • if you do go out, try not to walk or shelter close to buildings and trees 
  • not go outside to repair damage while the storm is ongoing
  • not drive unless your journey is really necessary 

After a storm you should:

  • be careful not to touch any electrical/ telephone cables that have been blown down or are still hanging
  • not walk too close to walls, buildings, and trees as they could have been weakened

Preparing for a power cut

It's important to be prepared for a potential loss of power. You should:

  • know where your household fuses and trip switches are so that you can check if the problem is with your electrics only
  • test smoke alarms regularly 
  • keep a supply of new batteries in torches and radios (for checking updates on news bulletins)
  • keep a supply of candles
  • keep mobile phones, laptops or tablets fully charged – so you will have use of battery power for a short time at least 
  • have the telephone numbers you might need to hand (as well as mobile phones, a non-mains powered landline telephone will help you stay in touch during any disruptions to your power supply)
  • if you have a baby at home, make sure you have a supply of pre-prepared formula baby milk (if used) and prepare a flask of hot water to heat bottles and baby food (it is always safer to make up a fresh feed; when this is not possible, feeds should never be stored for longer than 24 hours)

If you depend on electrical equipment that is vital to your health, contact Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) Networks to get on their Critical Care Register:

If your electricity goes off

If your electricity goes off, you should:

  • check your fuses and trip switches - then check if your neighbours are without power
  • leave one light on
  • leave your fridge/ freezer switched on with the door shut to maintain a low temperature
  • check that other electrical appliances and machinery are switched off at the wall
  • preferably use a torch, oil or gas lamp as a source of light rather than candles
  • if you must use naked flames, please take extra care and make certain that they are put out before you go to bed
  • check on elderly or vulnerable neighbours in your area to make sure they are okay
  • if you are using a generator, be careful where you site it in case of carbon monoxide poisoning

Reporting a power cut

If your power is off and you want to report it or get more information, contact NIE Networks Customer Helpline or visit their website:

You can find an updated list of areas affected by power cuts on the NIE Networks website.

Water supply

In the event of difficulties with the water and sewerage, you will get the most up-to-date information on areas experiencing disruption on the NI Water website. This includes a full postcode search facility for customers. 

You can also phone Waterline 24 hours a day/ 365 days a year on:

  • 03457 440088

More useful links

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