The Beano and the Met Office have teamed up to create a new comic strip that sees Minnie the Minx teach young readers how to weather the storm.
For generations of readers, The Beano brings back fond memories of anarchic adventures featuring the likes of Dennis the Menace, the Bash Street Kids and Calamity James. But in today's issue, the comic takes a more responsible approach as Minnie the Minx raises awareness of Met Office storm names.
This is because the name Minnie has made the official list of Met Office storm names for the 2023/24 season, joining the likes of other names including Agnes, Babet and Ciarán. In the strip, Minnie the Minx will teach children what actions to take before, during and after a storm, as well as tell them all about why the Met Office gives storms names to begin with.
If this all sounds a bit too wholesome and educational for The Beano, don't fret. Minnie the Minx tells readers how to be #WeatherReady with characteristic chaos as she coerces the Met Office team into putting her name on their latest list. And imagine her anger after learning that fellow Beanloand bully Dennis had a storm named after him in 2020.
Elsewhere in the issue, other Beano characters are roped in to help learn how to stay safe from a storm. Everyone's favourite skiver, Roger the Dodger, even gets a special strip called Storm Dodge, where he uses his wily ways to get out of helping his parents prepare for the arrival of Storm Minnie.
Met Office Associate Director of Communications Dave Britton, who leads communication in times of severe weather, said: "This is the ninth year of us naming storms, and we do it because it works. We're delighted to work closely with Minnie and everyone at Beano again to help get our safety messages to their loyal readers.
"Whether it is tying down garden toys, making sure you're stocked up on your favourite food or checking on your neighbours, we hope our advice can help children make better decisions for themselves, but also provide them with the right messages to keep their family and friends safe too."
As Dave says, when it comes to results, the benefits of naming storms speak for themselves. When Storm Eunice swept across the UK in 2021, 99% of people within the red warning areas were aware of what they needed to do. So with the help of The Beano and The Met Office's resources for schools, it's hoped that young people will know how to look after themselves in times of severe weather.
Mike Stirling, Beano's Director of Mischief, said: "Minnie is a force of nature herself, so having her own storm came naturally, especially after she found out that a storm was named after Dennis a few years ago.
"Kids will love this hilarious story, and we're happy to join Met Office in their mission by sharing essential information in a fun way with children all over the country."