If your home is in an area prone to flooding, plan ahead and be prepared with these tips:
- Keep a stock of filled sandbags handy to help seal your doors - your local council may provide these.
- Flood damage could wipe your computer's hard drive. Make sure you back up your computer to avoid the loss of any sentimental material, such as family photos.
- Make sure that all valuables and copies of important documents (for example, your insurance policies and bank details) are stored safely, preferably in a waterproof container kept on an upper floor.
- Obtain temporary flood protection equipment, such as removable covers for air bricks and other vents to help protect vulnerable windows and doors.
- Prepare a home emergency kit containing:
- A first aid kit
- A torch
- A portable radio
- Spare batteries
- Bottled water and canned food
- Portable cooking equipment and utensils
- Blankets, waterproof clothing and rubber boots
- A list of local emergency numbers (e.g., the council)
- Your insurance details.
When carrying out home maintenance keep flood protection in mind. Use flood resilient materials, for example consider tiles instead of carpets, and keep units and electrical sockets above ground level where possible. Use your local directory to find specialist companies that can install flood protection measures in your home.
In the event of extreme weather
If you believe your home could be at risk of flooding:
- listen out for flood warnings on the local radio.
- if possible, roll up carpets and take them upstairs.
- move as many items as you can upstairs, such as furniture, family heirlooms and important documents.
- move your car to higher ground.
- lift curtains and secure them over the rails to keep them away from the floor.
- block the external doors with sandbags.
- turn off water, electricity and gas at the mains.
- always put your own safety first and evacuate the property if there is an imminent risk that it could flood.
Help and advice
For help and advice during a flood, call the Environment Agency's Floodline on 0845 988 1188, tune into a local radio station or check the Met Office and Environment Agency's websites which carry comprehensive flood information. If the authorities advise you to evacuate, follow any instructions they give leaving your home as secure as possible.