Strong winds warning - information and advice

Date published: 18 November 2020

There is a weather warning for strong winds in some areas. Travel delays, power cuts, spray and large waves in costal areas, and fallen trees are a possibility.

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Weather warning

The Met Office has sent out a weather warning for strong winds.

Weather warnings 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

You can report a fallen tree or blocked road at the following link:

Reporting a power cut

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

  • NIE Networks Customer Helpline: 03457 643 643
  • Power cuts

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

Roads information

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

Plan your journey

You should always plan your journey and check the latest weather and travel advice.

If the conditions are bad, ask yourself if you can delay your journey until conditions improve.

You can find information about driving in adverse weather at this link:

Flooding advice

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

The Flooding Incident Line is available 24 hours a day, every day. You can report flooding problems on roads or burst water mains and blocked drains.

When you ring the flooding incident line, a member of staff will:

  • take all your details
  • contact the appropriate agency on your behalf

This is a non emergency number, so if you are in danger, call the emergency services on 999.

There is general flooding advice in the following section, including preparing for a flood and what to do if flooding happens:

Financial help if your house floods

If your home is flooded due to heavy rainfall, contact the contact the local council and ask about their emergency payments scheme.

Public transport

For the latest information on bus and train services, go to the 'Travel update' section on the Translink website.

Forests, country parks and nature reserves

You're advised not to visit forests, country parks and nature reserves until the strong winds weather warning is over due to the increased risks of fallen trees, branches and debris.  

Local councils

If local council services are affected by adverse weather, the latest information should be available on council websites.

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 
  • if you're a farmer, not enter fields bordered by trees or with powerlines unless absolutely 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 medical customer 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

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. 

People who join the NI Water customer care register can get a range of free additional services if they are an older person, have a serious medical condition, or need extra help for any other reason.

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

  • 03457 440088

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