Dealing with Floods
Whether it’s the product of a torrential downpour, a burst water pipe or blocked drains, flooding can be devastating to your home. As such, it’s imperative that, should the situation arise, you know how to quickly combat flooding and protect your property.
No matter where you live, making yourself aware of any flood risks can sometimes make the difference between a protected and a damaged property. Those that live in flood risk areas will often be aware already, as house and contents insurance is likely to cost more. However, if you are unsure and want to check, you can do so by using the flood risk maps here. These look at risks brought about from rivers and the sea, surface water or reservoirs, and are best to inform you on any risk. For more detail, you can apply to the Environment Agency, and they are obliged to tell you the history of flooding around a property.
If you live in England or Wales, you can sign up for flood warnings here – you never know when a bit of advance knowledge could help you save what’s important! These alerts can come through email, text or a phone call, and is a free service.
Insurance is a big part of preparation, even if you don’t live in a flooded area. It’s vital to check what your insurance covers in relation to flooding – especially so if you live in a flood risk area. Ensure that you understand your policy, and reach out to your provider if you need any parts clarifying. It’s important to do that before anything happens, as it won’t be so simple after!
You don’t need to compile a flood plan if you’re not a business with staff to protect, but if you are worried, storing a few sandbags can be a good way of protecting your entranceways should flooding become a problem. Riverside property owners are responsible for managing their own flood risks.
Firstly, always be sure to turn off your utilities at the main valves and switches. If it’s safe to do so, you can protect entranceways with sandbags – but remember to only step where the water is still. This will help prevent the majority of water from entering your property, but it’s always a good idea to move electrical items, furniture and anything of value away from the floor.
Once you’re happy that your property is as protected as it can be, you should report the flooding or burst water main to the relevant authority. Next, you should contact other relevant authorities about any other problems the flooding has caused. Councils will need to know about any sewage hazards, and electrical hazards should be reported to the local electricity company.
If your flooding is severe, your local fire and rescue service should be able to help you pump water out of your property – on occasion, there is a small fee involved with this service. Don’t forget, emergency accommodation is something your local council will be able to help out with, and in some cases, you could have access to emergency money through Citizens Advice.
In short, though flooding is a devastating thing to happen to your home, there is always an authority that’s able to help you. Arm yourself with the right contacts, and you’ll be ready to face the flood head on.