28 October 2013
British Red Cross emergency response teams are providing help to people left stricken by the storm that hit swathes of the UK.
Hurricane-force winds have brought down trees and left thousands of homes without power as winds of nearly 100mph whipped across southern Britain last night.
Although the storm, dubbed St Jude after the feast day of the patron saint of lost causes, has passed, the Red Cross is urging people to check up on family and neighbours to see if they need help.
Simon Lewis, the British Red Cross head of emergency response and planning, said: “Throughout Sussex, Kent, Cheshire and London, our teams of volunteers and staff have been kept busy responding to call-outs caused by the storm. Our teams have been out providing blankets and practical assistance.
“Although the storm has passed across the UK now, we are mindful that it has left a trail of destruction in its wake.
“We’re urging people to call in on friends, neighbours and relatives, especially the elderly, to see if they need help staying warm or getting provisions.”
Red Cross teams were on hand to support ambulance services, transport hospital patients and help stranded travellers in the wake of the storm.
They also made house-calls to check on the welfare of vulnerable older people.
A Red Cross fire and emergency services team is supporting the family of a 17-year-old girl in Edenbridge, Kent, who was killed after a tree fell on a mobile home.
In East Sussex, Red Cross volunteers provided support to the search and rescue team looking for a 14-year-old boy swept out to sea at Newhaven yesterday.
Volunteers in the county have also been helping a family in Hastings who lost the roof from their caravan in the storm.
We have also provided 75 blankets to a rest centre in Peacehaven and deployed volunteers to a nursing home in St Leonards-on-Sea.
In London, one ambulance was deployed in support of the ambulance service.
Travel chaos prevented thousands of people from reaching work across the UK this morning and 220,000 homes were without electricity, while a reported 200 trees were felled as a result of the storm.
Read our advice on preparing for extreme weather and make sure you're ready for winter.