The heat waves keep coming. However, a storm often brews in their wake once they've subsided. On June 11th 2023, the Met Office issued a storm warning for much of the UK – with Ashby sitting in the yellow highlighted area for eligibility.
While the UK can withstand these events, it cannot always do so entirely unscathed. Preparations are required to mitigate the chaos.
Of course, while some preparations are the same in every region in the UK, certain areas can have unique considerations to mull over too. Such is true when it comes to thinking about the geography of the region (e.g. flood plains) or finding credible local services.
How might Ashby locals go about preparing for any forthcoming thunderstorms? What might the best approaches be? Is there anything they'll need to watch out for? Read on for some deeper insights into these questions and more.
Listening to Credible Voices
We mentioned in the introduction that the Met Office issued a warning already. A yellow warning has many implications, and it's worth getting more familiar with them.
For example, a yellow warning for thunderstorms means quick flooding could happen to businesses and homes and cause a danger to life. Further damage could be inflicted by lightning strikes, strong winds, and heavy hail. Power cuts can be anticipated. Driving conditions will be difficult, and road closures are more likely as well. Some of these thunderstorm consequences go without saying, but Ashby residents should know the specifics of what the warning entails.
That said, there are other sources to pay close attention to a thunderstorm situation as it unravels. The Environment Agency is also responsible for issuing warnings about flood risks, often sending them directly to residents in areas prone to flooding. They may also have social media profiles where they regularly post updates to keep locals informed. So, Ashby residents can perhaps expect to maintain a correspondence with these entities should recurring thunderstorms pose a notable danger.
Still, one doesn't need to wait for the Environment Agency to send notice. It's easy to check government resources for flooding notices, and local councils should be willing to provide similar information. There are no flood warnings at the time of writing, but the situation could change, so Ashby residents are advised routinely check back when storms are forecasted.
The Environment Agency and local authorities typically publish instructions and guidance on what to do in dangerous flooding and storm scenarios. The information could equip Ashby residents with some comforting knowledge and give them a plan of action at a time that can be chaotic or even frightening.
Avoiding Rogue Traders
Panic can be a consequence of a severe thunderstorm. If damage is done to peoples' homes, a sense of desperation can happen with making repairs.
However, caution is generally advised by the authorities in these situations. Frenzied decision-making often makes matters worse, driving people into a corner that's almost of their making. Clear, rational mindsets are essential here, ensuring that everybody can adapt without serious errors of judgement.
In 2021, Trading Standards issued reports of rogue traders floating around in the Ashby area, according to nearby Measham Parish Council resources. There are other reports indicating that many rogue traders surface promptly after major incidents like thunderstorms. That's when many homeowners need repairs on their property, and for rogue traders, it's a perfect opportunity to exploit people's vulnerable states.
Ashby residents will need to be on the lookout for rogue traders post-thunderstorm to ensure they don't fall victim to their ploys. Cold callers should likely be refused outright. While it can seem polite to at least humour door-to-door callers, they will likely tell outright lies, overprice their 'services', and attempt to justify their presence more earnestly the more they're politely shut down. When a storm is forecasted, placing a sign near the door politely refusing cold callers can be helpful. If a professional is needed, it's recommended that they be sought out on the homeowners' own terms.
Finding Quality Traders
Online marketplaces are often the best places to find legitimate traders who can conduct repairs on a home after a thunderstorm. Many Ashby residents will inevitably concentrate their search for support there.
Instead of endlessly Googling 'roofers near you' during a leak from heavy rainfall, Ashby residents can find local roofers with MyBuilder's online platform. They just need to post the nature of their job online, and they'll receive responses from many vetted and well-reviewed experts. Before making contact, users can browse the roofers' full work history to gauge whether they're the right person for the job. These professionals can repair residential and commercial buildings, and other tradespeople can also be found on the platform.
To get the most out of the service, people will assess their situation in more detail first. Inspecting the level of damage and checking the paperwork on the property (insurance and warranties) will all take place before hired help is sought. Considering that roof damage in Ashby can range from loose tiles to trees falling down and crashing through rooftops, these situations always require a tailored response. Even mild levels of damp and flood water can still cause hefty amounts of damage too.
Another reason people use online marketplaces so much is the amount of flexibility they have in comparing services. Everything from prices to credentials can be conveniently evaluated in one area. It saves time and also prevents people from being on an extensive waiting list (as these services can be very busy post-thunderstorm).
Looking at History
To prepare for the future, one must sometimes look to the past. Ashby residents concerned about the thunderstorms will likely do just that.
We've mentioned some noteworthy past events, such as rogue traders exploiting the devastation people go through. However, there can be more to pay attention to here. The more informed locals are, the more confident and competent they might feel when tackling thunderstorms head-on.
It may not feel like a lot of research is required imminently. Flash flooding was experienced in Ashby as recently as June 12th, with shocked residents witnessing water breach their homes. The local Tesco supermarket was also forced to temporarily close. Generally, Ashby's drainage systems usually mitigate the chance of flooding, but the incident was so intense that even that was overwhelmed.
It's not just the summertime risks of thunderstorms that spark worry. After all, winter 2019 saw floods descending on Ashby, so seasonal shifts do not guarantee anything. The River Black and the River Mease are local rivers in the Ashby area that can sometimes experience higher water levels than usual after intense rainfall. They're often partially credited for much of the flooding that occurs in the area.
How does potential flooding impact Ashby's infrastructure? What changes have been made to mitigate these risks? Where do vulnerabilities still exist? Ashby residents and councils will need to grapple with these questions – preferably before the next round of thunderstorms rolls in.
Ashby braces for thunderstorms this summer, and not for the first time. By now, many lessons should have been learned on how to handle these situations effectively. Informative voices should be heeded, rogue traders ignored, and reputable online marketplaces engaged with should there be a need for services. Recent history tells us that the area has bounced back before and will likely do so again so long as homeowners and businesses are suitably informed and prepared.