The Met Office has issued a Yellow Weather Warning for Storm Eleanor - the first named storm of 2018 - today and tomorrow.

Rural insurer NFU Mutual has issued a storm checklist to help people prepare.

Strong winds and rain are predicted with gusts of up to 80mph forecast across England and Wales.

The Met Office has warned Storm Eleanor could cause damage to buildings such as tiles blown from roofs, potential injuries from flying debris and power cuts.

To maintain close contact with its customers, NFU Mutual’s network of more than 300 local agencies are on standby to help customers when required.

This means that when gales and floods strike the insurer is able to get to affected customers quickly, making emergency payments, arranging alternative accommodation where appropriate and getting drying-out and roof repairs underway.

“Strong winds in rural areas can cause significant damage as many farms and homes are situated on higher ground and less protected by other buildings. Rural areas can also be prone to power cuts with lines brought down by high winds and fallen trees,” said Jon Cawley, head of claims at NFU Mutual.

“It’s important that people are prepared if severe weather strikes. Our claims teams and local agents are on standby across the UK to provide immediate support with claims or emergency accommodation if required.”

While it’s impossible to predict the extent of severe weather, preparation can help prevent damage and limit the recovery time from extreme events.

If you are preparing for a storm at home stay alert for Met Office Severe Weather warnings, prepare for power cuts, park your car in the garage and secure outside furniture.

If you are planning on driving plan journeys carefully, check your tyres, as well as the levels of your engine oil, coolant and screen wash. Make sure your mobile telephone is fully charged, and tune into the radio to keep up to date about road conditions. Also, check you have emergency breakdown cover and the contact details – this may be part of your insurance policy.

For further information on weather precautions visit