How do I deal with the risk of flood?
- IMPORTANT – DO NOT TOUCH THE ELECTRICS WHILST STANDING IN FLOOD WATER.
- Prepare a ‘Flood Pack’ and make sure everyone knows where it is. It should contain a torch, a battery-operated radio, a first aid kit, warm clothes, blankets and bottles of water. Keep it in a safe place.
- Keep your insurer’s helpline number handy, and put your insurance policy documents in a water-tight bag in a safe place.
- If you can, move valuables and items that can’t be replaced either upstairs or to a high place to prevent damage. To save photographs or valuable paperwork, remove the excess water and keep everything tightly together. Let it dry naturally.
- Learn how to shut off gas, electricity, oil-fired heating and water supplies, even in the dark.
- Follow official advice – call Floodline on 0345 988 1188 or Type talk 0345 602 6340 (for the hard of hearing). Or visit https://flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk
…and if the worst happens…
- Don’t dry your belongings using high heat levels – it could result in further damage. Your insurance provider should give you a de-humidifier. When windows are closed, have one running for every two rooms affected by the flood.
- Clean out fridges and freezers as soon as possible, and throw away any food items. Some insurance providers will let you claim for food items, so remember to keep a list and, if possible, take a photograph.
- Store damaged furniture and fittings in a dry place. They’ll need to be inspected, and they may be fixable or have a salvage value.
- Rubber-backed carpets will need to be replaced – move them out of the house if you can. Leave hessian-backed carpets on the floor to dry as they’ll shrink if you lift them. Once they’re dry, you can dry the areas underneath.
- Don’t try to redecorate right away. It can take months for a property to dry out properly. It’s important to check with an expert that walls and other surfaces are fully dry and, if necessary, treated to prevent mould.
- Remember floodwater could be contaminated. Be careful what you touch and look out for signs of pollution.
Thanks to the Clydesdale Bank for this advice. December 2017