Living in a flood risk zone is now a reality for many people in the UK
If you’re one of them, it’s best to be prepared. Even if you live in a lower risk area, it’s advisable to be aware of what you might need to do to be prepared, should the worst happen. The following guide has been put together to give you tips on preparing for a flood so you have the knowledge to limit damage to your home, keep your family safe, and how to get back on your feet should your home or belongings get damaged.
CREATE A PERSONAL FLOOD PLAN. This can be a really useful idea so in the event of a flood you've already got a full plan of action to follow. Your plan should include: Important phone numbers such as your utilities providers, local council, and insurance broker. The shut-off location of your utilities (water, gas, electricity.) The name and contact information for people who could help you, or who may need your help.
A plan of action for inside and outside the home, what to prepare in terms of important documentation, where to get sandbags in your local area, or information on what to do in the event of an evacuation. A flood plan template provided by the Environment Agency, can be found at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/personal-flood-plan.
DON'T FORGET... Make sure you check your insurance documents for whether you're covered for flood damage. Some insurers will exclude flood damage if you live within 400m of a water course, so make sure you check your eligibility. Your policy will also need to be in place before a flood happens.
PREPARE YOUR PROPERTY FOR A POTENTIAL FLOOD, BOTH INSIDE AND OUT.
If a flood looks likely, there are items throughout your home that you’ll need to turn off and/or move. Make sure you have an inventory of everything you own that needs attention when you receive a flood warning, so you can focus on the important things. Here's a few of the more common items:
INSIDE: Move valuables or irreplaceable items upstairs. Take any lightweight items or more expensive furniture you want to protect upstairs, Lift any rugs and move them to a safe space, Turn off your utilities to prevent unnecessary damage, Plug your sinks, bath, and shower and weigh them down with sandbags or other heavy objects to prevent sewage overflow through your pipes, Disconnect items that use water, such as a washing machine, Move any indoor pets upstairs, Consider what you might do with your fridge/freezer and the perishable contents.
OUTSIDE: If safe to do so, move any cars you own to higher ground, Move any outdoor pets or animals to a safe place, Secure any movable items you may have in your garden, or move them to a safe location.
Recovery from a flood can be stressful, and it might take a while to get back to normal. Take things one step at a time and make the process easier by working with a reliable broker.