Steps to take when there is a risk of flooding-
Reduce flood water getting into your home
Ideally, cover doors, windows and airbricks with plywood, sandbags, metal sheeting or a 'bought in' product made for the job.
Gas, Electricity and Water
- Turn off gas, electricity and water supplies at the mains. Find out where these controls are well in advance of any flood
- Unplug all electrical items and store upstairs or as high up as possible
- Put plugs into sinks and weigh them down with something heavy
Furniture and Appliances
- Move as much furniture and electrical items as you can upstairs. Alternatively raise them up on bricks or blocks - this may be very helpful for large appliances such as fridge-freezers
- Move furniture away from walls, as this helps when drying your property later
- If you can, roll up carpets and rugs and put them upstairs
- If there is no time to remove curtains, hang them up over the rail so they are kept above flood water
- Leave internal doors open, or ideally, remove them and store them upstairs
You cannot replace sentimental items such as photos. Think about permanently moving these upstairs, so you do not forget to move them in the case of a flood
Keep important personal documents in a sealed bag, and in a location safe from flood water. These should include passports, birth certificates, marriage certificates, contracts, title deeds, etc.
Outside the House
- Move anything not fixed down into a safer location, e.g. dustbins, garden chemicals, car oil and similar
- Move your car to higher ground to avoid damage
- Weigh down manhole covers outside the house to prevent them being forced off and leaving a hazardous hole
- Prepare a flood kit - warm clothes, torch, radio, food, mobile phone and first aid kit.
- Keep up to date by tuning in to local radio
- Stay in your property, if safe to do so, until advised otherwise by the emergency services
- Do not walk or drive through floodwater or walk across sea defences when flooded.
- Contact your insurers and follow their advice
- Check the safety of electricity and gas before use
- Listen to advice regarding drinking water
- Dispose of all contaminated food, included anything defrosted.
- Ventilate your property whilst taking care of security
- Seek medical assistance if any health issues appear
For more detailed advice about flooding, see the leaflets below from the Environment Agency.