Many areas in England have been badly affected by flooding in recent weeks. It is important to be prepared and we have collated some useful advice for anyone living in flood risk areas:
- Move as much as possible upstairs or into the loft, especially expensive or important possessions.
- Ensure mobile phones are charged and prepare a kit with a torch, any medication you will need and waterproof clothing. Also consider filling some jugs and containers with fresh drinking water.
- Make use of sandbags if you can – there are also special barriers you can fix into doorways to stop water getting in. Call the Environment Agency to find out how to obtain these. Remember to protect airbricks and basement windows.
- Seal the soil drainage to stop any water from getting into the building’s drainage system, to prevent contaminated water from entering the building.
- Turn off the electricity to floors that are likely to be affected. If water enters your home, switch off your gas and electricity until a qualified professional has checked it is safe.
- If you have a lower area such as a basement, try to route the water flow into these areas and pump out.
- Take up carpets and remove anything that can be moved to higher floors.
- Call drying companies and put them on standby in order to get them to set up large industrial dehumidifiers to start the drying process as soon as possible after the flood. This can prevent any water penetrating into the building’s foundations, which would cause further problems.
- Stay away from areas immediately near coastal waters and avoid walking or driving through flood water.
- Keep informed of weather warnings and be prepared to evacuate if told to do so. You can find weather warnings on the Environment Agency website at www.environment-agency.gov.uk
We are here to help customers affected by this weather; in the unfortunate event that your home is flooded, contact us by telephone as soon as possible so we can help you.
Sources: Mike Smith (picture), Aviva, Hiscox