Get ready for Storm Otto, warns NFU Mutual

As Storm Otto approaches, farmers in the north of England and Scotland are being urged to prepare for 75mph gusts and up to 50mm of rainfall after the Met Office issued a yellow warning. 

Otto is the first storm to impact the UK this storm season, which began in September last year. Rural insurer NFU Mutual has issued a warning to farmers, urging them to take care when working outside, and to only venture out when necessary.

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Rural affairs specialist Hannah Binns said: “Previous storms have caused widespread disruption across the UK, bringing down power lines, ripping trees from the ground, damaging buildings, interrupting travel routes and flooding.  

“As Storm Otto approaches, we are urging farmers to plan ahead and take great care when working outside in stormy conditions.  

“Safety for farmers, family members and workers should always be the number one priority and while fully understanding the pressures farmers are under, it is vital they avoid taking risks which could lead to injury or fatalities.  

NFU Mutual also advises that farmers working alone should share their whereabouts and expected time home, and that carrying a charged mobile phone with the What3Words app can be helpful in the event of an emergency.

The full list of advice to protect your farm and stay safe during a storm can be found below.

Staying safe in a storm

  • Do not leave the house or make journeys unless absolutely necessary   
  • If you need to leave the house, avoid the sheltered side of walls when walking   
  • If journeys are essential, drive slowly and carefully, staying aware of high winds on exposed roads and ice and water on the roa   
  • Do not attempt emergency repairs during the storm   
  • Keep all building doors and windows closed  
  • Be aware that after a storm or weather event, power cables or powerlines may have been brought down    
  • Don’t enter any buildings that could be unsafe following a storm   
  • Avoid being near barn doors if there are high winds   
  • Plan evacuation routes to get staff and livestock to safety in the case of extreme weather such as floods – identify higher ground that you can move livestock to in the event of flooding   
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