SAFETY ADVICE: FLOODING
If you have made a few preparations in the event of flooding, you can significantly reduce the damage and upset caused – especially if you live in an area where there is a high risk of flooding, or if you have had a flood before.
The Council of the Isles of Scilly, the emergency services, and the Environment Agency will help where they can, but primarily you are responsible for protecting your own property.
If life is at risk, call 999.
If you require sandbags as a precautionary measure you will need to make your own arrangements to purchase them. The Council of the Isles of Scilly has in place an Emergency Management Plan and will respond to flooding events. When flooding is widespread, it is not possible to respond to every call for assistance at once, and our priority has to be to save lives.
PREPARING FOR A FLOOD
- Get some sandbags to block doors and airbricks (making sure there is adequate ventilation)
- Make a flood kit. Keep a torch, battery radio, emergency numbers, rubber gloves, and your insurance policy in a safe place
- Know where your mains electricity and gas supply switches are
- Keep a list of useful numbers to hand (your insurance company, the Environment Agency Floodline number etc)
- Do not underestimate the damage a flood can do. Contact your insurance company to make sure you have adequate flood cover.
- Do not assume everyone knows what to do. Make a family flood plan
- Do not wait for the flood happen. Floods can occur very quickly. Get Prepared now.
DURING A FLOOD
- Remember that during a storm the emergency services will be very busy. Only call for immediate assistance if there is risk to life
- Keep an eye on weather reports on local television or radio news channels. Do not travel in heavy rainstorms unless absolutely necessary
- Look after neighbours. People have been known to suffer from hypothermia after their homes have become flooded with cold rainwater even in summer.
- Do not attempt to drive through flooded roads or fords. The water is often deeper than it looks and may be moving quite fast. Your vehicle may be swept away or become stranded,
- Do not try to walk through flooded areas. Even shallow water moving fast can sweep you off your feet and there may be hidden dangers such as open drains, damaged road surfaces, submerged debris and deep channels: these can cause serious injury or even death.
- Do not take boats onto rivers or walk alongside rivers – this is extremely dangerous in a flood situation
- Do not allow children to play in floodwater – it can be contaminated with sewage and chemicals
- Do not smoke, eat, or drink whilst in contact with flood water and always wash your hands thoroughly afterwards
IF YOUR HOUSE FLOODS…
- Turn off the electricity supply at the mains. Only if you can do so safely. Do not attempt to turn off the electricity supply while standing in water
- Get out of the water – move family and pets upstairs or to higher ground
- Make sure all electrical circuits are fully dried out and checked by an electrical engineer after the flood, before switching back on
FIRE SAFETY ADVICE
- Only return to evacuated buildings if you are told it is safe to do so
- Avoid electricity sources and do not attempt to turn off the electricity supply while standing in water
- Get an approved service engineer to check your property utilities (gas, electricity, and water) before turning back on to ensure that all electrical circuits are fully dried
- Beware of contaminated water and sharp objects in lying flood water
- Ensure that you have a working smoke alarm as there is an increased risk of fire from wet electrics.
- Take extra care if using candles and open fires.
- If you property or belongings are damaged, contact your insurance company. Ask their advice before starting to clean up.