Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is advising residents to remain #WeatherAware and follow the latest reports during the wet weather.
There are steps that residents can take during this period:
- Do not drive through flood water – just 30cm of moving flood water is enough to make your car float and potentially move you into deeper water where you could become stranded.
- Manholes may be dangerous – during the flooding it is difficult to see what is underneath the water but the rain can add pressure underneath the man holes.
- Do not move or ignore road closures signs – they are there for your safety, so please do not ignore them.
- Remember to give vulnerable road users including cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians more room than usual – they are more likely to be blown around by side winds, so keep your speed down and always keep a safe distance.
- Give yourself more time to react while driving – reduced visibility and wet roads will increase your stopping distance.
- Ensure good ventilation if using portable indoor heating appliances to dry out indoor spaces – do not use petrol or diesel generators or other similar fuel-driven equipment indoors: the exhaust gases contain carbon monoxide which can kill.
- Do not turn on gas or electrics if they have got wet – only turn them on when they have been checked by a qualified technician.
- Avoid walking near rivers or lakes if water levels are high and, if your journey does take you near water, watch your step and stay as far from the water’s edge as you can – heavy rain, riverbanks can become unstable.
To help you stay safe when driving in strong winds:
- Slow down and keep focused on the road ahead – you may encounter debris from fallen trees, branches or other items blown by winds.
- Avoid using exposed sections of road if possible – lorries, caravans and motorbikes are at particular risk.
- Gusts of wind can cause your vehicle to shake – always keep good control of your vehicle by using both hands on the steering wheel.
- Look out for gaps in trees or buildings, or when crossing bridges – you’re more likely to encounter side winds here. Keep room on either side of your vehicle to allow for it being blown sideways.
- Watch out for side winds when passing larger high-sided vehicles – keep room on either side of your vehicle to allow for it being blown sideways.
If available for your neighbourhood, sign up for free flood warning messages from the Environment Agency’s Floodline: 0345 988 1188 or online.
For the latest information on weather warnings, visit the MetOffice website.