POLICE have urged people to be cautious and not make unnecessary journeys following Met Office forecasts for high winds tonight.
A red weather warning has been issued amid fears gales of up to 100mph could batter parts of the North West.
Winds are predicted to increase from late afternoon last until 10pm, with a potential for disruption on highways and near to coastal areas.
Merseyside Police has been working with partner agencies - including St Helens Council -- to ensure public safety and minimise disruption for the communities.
A force spokeswoman said: "The force would like to reassure the public that together with partner agencies, there are tried and tested contingency plans in place for extreme weather conditions.
"Those plans have been implemented today and partner agencies will respond appropriately to all emergency calls and ensure recovery plans are in place to return to a state of normality as soon as possible."
The public are asked to exercise caution during periods of severe weather and avoid unnecessary journeys.
Officers are also reminding residents to avoid coastal areas during the high winds.
Council warns of severe weather later today Earlier, St Helens Council echoed warnings from the Met Office that indicate the borough, along with other parts of the North West, could be hit by winds of between 70 and 100 mph.
A statement read:,"Winds of this strength have the power to cause structural damage to buildings, bring down trees, affect power supplies and disrupt transport and travel arrangements.
"The forecast has prompted the Met Office to issue its first ‘Red warning’ of the winter – meaning there is a ‘risk to life’ and that people should ‘avoid dangerous areas.’ "Members of the public are being advised to take extra care and, wherever possible, to alter their travel arrangements during this spell of storm force winds."
The council will inform residents of any changes to its services caused by severe weather.