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In this section we can offer you advice on the 3 following subjects:

  • How to plan for a flood before it happens
  • Important things to do during a flood
  • Tips for the recovery and cleanup after a flood

The importance of staying safe

Flooding can be notoriously unpredictable. Do your best to think about flooding before it happens. You can take simple precautions such as signing up for FREE flood warnings and follow the necessary precautions as detailed on this page to make a personalised flood plan.

Try to avoid contact with the flood water as much as possible. Never drive through flood water and do not let children play in or near flood water.

Feeling upset and distressed after a flood is completely normal. Continuous support from family and friends is extremely important during and after the recovery process.

Never use petrol or diesel generators indoors to dry out your home. The exhaust gases contain dangerous carbon monoxide.

For your protection when cleaning up after a flood, wear thick rubber gloves, high boots and eye protection, and ensure you thoroughly wash your hands when you are finished.

Your local authority or the Environment Agency can tell you all you need to know about the dangers of flooding where you live. Find out before a flood happens and make sure you are prepared for both the flood and the recovery.

Know what the levels of flood warning mean:

Level One - Flood Alert
Flooding is possible. Be prepared.
Level Two – Flood Warning
Flooding is expected. Immediate action required.
Level Three – Severe Flood Warning
Severe flooding. Danger to life.

If flooding has been forecast/predicted where or near to where you live, listen to local radio or check online at:

If you have immediate questions, don’t panic and contact your local authority or Floodline on 0345 988 1188.

In case you need to leave your home, pack a Flood Kit

  • Pack all important documents, including Insurance, Bank Cards and Money.
  • Write down all phone numbers you may need in an emergency.
  • Make sure you have all important medicines and medical devices, including glasses and contact lenses.
  • Be sure to include some spare clothing, toothbrushes and personal items.
  • If there is a baby in the family, pack nappies, clothing and baby food.

Take care when leaving your home

Make sure you turn off your gas, electricity and water before flood water enters your home. Phone your suppliers ahead if you are unsure how to do this.

Fast flowing flood water is more dangerous than it looks. Avoid walking or driving in or near flood water. Move your family, pets and floodkit to the highest place possible with means of escape.

Stay calm and safe, make sure to listen to the advice of the emergency services and evacuate when told to do so.

Remember that flooding of your home is an extremely stressful event. It is completely normal to feel anxious and upset. Your priority should be to take care of yourself and your family.

Make sure to avoid all unnecessary contact with flood water and wash your hands regularly.

Make sure to take care if you must go into flood water. There could be a host of hidden dangers like sharp objects, raised manhole covers and pollution.

After the flood

Do not eat food that has touched flood water. Make sure that you do not eat fresh food from the fridge or freezer if your electricity has been turned off for more than four hours. Make sure all work surfaces have been cleaned before preparing food.

Wash your hands regularly with clean water and soap. If there is no clean water available, use wet wipes or hand sanitising gel.

Ensure that each member of your family has taken their medicines and phone 111 if you have any non-urgent concerns about their health.

Ask your local authority to help you find alternative accommodation if required or stay with family and friends. Only fully return to your home when all essential repairs and cleaning have been completed.

The cleanup process

As soon as possible, phone your insurance company and follow their advice. Take photographs of all damage before you start the cleanup process and speak to your insurer before throwing away ruined items that cannot be cleaned (such as mattresses and carpets).

Make sure you are wearing rubber boots and gloves to clean up, and be sure to wash hands during and afterwards.

Thoroughly clean all hard surfaces (walls and floors) with hot water and detergent. Hard surfaces contaminated by sewage need to be cleaned and disinfected.

Make sure that you wash clothes used when cleaning separately from your other clothes. Wash soft items on a 60°C cycle with detergent.

Place rubbish in hard, secure bins or in strong rubbish bags. Dispose of any dead rodents and pests in a plastic bag, wearing rubber gloves.

To help you dry out your home, you should use heating systems, dehumidifiers and good ventilation. Mould will stop growing eventually as your home dries out. If it persists, contact a specialist cleaner.

© 2015 The Flood Defence & Recovery Company