If your property is situated on a flood plain or near a coast or river, your home is at higher risk than most of flooding. Because of this risk, it is important to have a personal flood plan in place that provides a plan of action in the event of disaster. This plan is to ensure your safety, that everyone knows what to do in the event of a flood, and to prevent as much damage as possible to your home and possessions.
The following steps will help you start preparing for the possibility of flood, the first action being to sign up to the flood warning service to receive free area flood warnings. You can do this by calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188.
Flood Safety Checklist
It is important to have an idea of exactly what you need to do prior to a flood to ensure that no task is left undone, and that your family and personal property is safe.
The following provides a basic checklist of tasks to complete once you receive a flood warning.
- Move furniture to a safe space, or anchor it down
- Turn off all electrical appliances, and move to a safe place
- Roll up any rugs you may have and move them to a safe place
- If you have time, remove and roll up curtains and move them to a safe place
- Move any sentimental items to a safe place
- Put important documents in a waterproof bag, and move to a safe place
Garden And Outside
- If you can, move your car to a flood free area
- Try to weigh down any outside furniture
- Make sure your gutters and drainage systems are clear of debris
- Grab your emergency flood kit
- Call the necessary services (see below)
- Contact family or friends to let them know you are safe, and leaving home
- Make one last check that your personal property is as safe as possible
Whilst it is good to have a checklist, it’s better to have a fully-fledged plan in place. We have put together some questions you should ask yourself when creating your personal flood plan.
Who Should You Contact In The Event Of A Flood?
One of the first things to do is contact your services and utilities providers. This includes your electricity provider, your gas provider, your water provider and your insurance policy holder. By having these numbers close at hand, you will be able to let them know about your situation so that problems can be solved quickly and efficiently.
Information you should have at hand include the company name, the contact name, and the contact telephone number. Some of the contacts you should have in your personal flood plan include:
- Your electricity provider
- Your gas provider
- Your water provider
- Your telephone provider
- Your insurance policy holder and policy number
- Your local council
Where Are Your Utilities Located? Do You Know How To Turn Them Off?
Safety is your number one concern in the event of a flood. Your utilities (water, gas, electricity) need to be shut off to prevent further problems.
Make sure you (and others that live in your home) know exactly where your utility mains are located, and how to turn them off. There are plenty of resources online to help you understand your utility systems. If you need further information, you can speak to your local council or utility companies for help. When you understand where your utilities are located, and how to turn them off, make a note of this in your flood plan.
Who Can Help You?
In the event of a flood, you may need to find some temporary accommodation, access to clean dry clothes, or access to food or water. Because of this, you should make a note of friends, family, or neighbours that may be available to help in the event of disaster.
In your flood plan, make a note of the relationship you have with this person, their name, their telephone number, and information on how they can help you. Make sure you agree with them in advance how they can help you before adding them to your flood plan.
Can You Act Quickly And Efficiently?
The best way to protect your home in the event of a flood is through preparation. This means having a plan in place that allows you to protect your home, your family, and your important items.
One of the first things you need to make a note of is what you can take and what you can leave in a safe space. For example, you need to take food and water, clean clothes, bank cards, home insurance documents with you when you leave the house, but you can leave other items in a safe place protected by waterproof material. By having an idea of what you need to take with you and what can stay behind, you can save time in the event of an actual flood.
You should also work out the best ways to stop water from entering your home to reduce the damage that your property might suffer in the event of a flood. Know where to find protective materials such as sandbags and sturdy plastic sheeting, to help stop water entering your home and damaging your property.
Where Is Your Flood Kit?
A flood kit is an emergency item kit that ensures your safety in the event of a flood. Make sure it is an easy to reach place, but away from young children or animals. You should also make sure that your flood kit accounts for every person in your household.
An example of a well-stocked flood kit includes:
- A torch and spare batteries
- Warm, waterproof clothing
- Food (preferably tinned)
- Clean water
- Entertainment for young children
- Wellington boots
- Rubber gloves
Being prepared is the best way to stay safe during a flood. For more information on how you can protect your home, the Environment Agency have produced a handy checklist https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/444659/LIT_4112.pdf.
If your home has been struck by flooding and you require assistance in restoring your property, please call Tangible Building Solutions for help on 0800 328 4188. We are builders who specialise in the repair and restoration of homes following flood damage in a fast, efficient and stress free manner.