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Make hay whilst the sun shines

The old saying ‘make hay while the sun shines’ has deep relevance to our lives in this hot summer where temperatures have reached the low thirties. It would be easy to lie back at think that all those problems about damp and flooding are far away. However, this is exactly the time we should be considering these things.

Firstly, we are an island nation surrounded by water at the end of some turbulent weather systems that stretch across the North Atlantic. These have the habit of picking up lots of moisture in high pressure periods and then dumping it on us when the first opportunity arises. High temperatures and humid conditions are the warning signs to expect summer storms.

When the weather does break it can happen all too violently and deposit large amounts of rain on parched ground that has been baked solid. Such conditions are perfect for flash-flooding incidents. The same storms can also bring lightning which can strike on tinder-dry heath, gorse and grasslands. A sad case to remember is the recent fire outbreak in Portugal. This was caused by a lightning strike on dry woodland.

What can be done then on these long hot days when the only thought bothering us is what type of gin to have and whether it’s time to go for a swim? ‘Make hay while the sun shines’ means that we should prepare for inclement weather. How?

  • Clear any gutters and drains that may have collected dry materials,
  • Check that any flood-gates are quickly accessible and ready for fitting,
  • Update your emergency contact list with the numbers of trusted plumbers, electricians, damage management, and insurance details,
  • Prepare some polystyrene blocks to chock-up furniture in the eventuality of flooding.

Now these tasks are complete, pour yourself that G&T.