In a flood you may find you’re without lighting, heating or a telephone line. The following simple actions will help you to be prepared. The time to think about it is now – don’t wait until it happens. The better prepared you are, the better you’ll cope if it happens to you or your family.
- Find out if you live in a flood risk area. Visit Natural Resources Wales - What to do before, during and after a flood
- Make sure you have adequate insurance. Flood damage is included in most building insurance policies, but do check your home and contents insurance.
- In addition to your Home Emergency Kit, include rubber gloves, Wellingtons, waterproof clothing.
- Keep details of insurance policies and their emergency contact number somewhere safe – preferably as part of your Home Emergency Kit.
- Get into the habit of storing valuable or sentimental items upstairs or in a high place.
- Make sure you know where to turn off your gas and electricity.
- If you live in a flood risk area, consider buying some sandbags or flood boards to block doorways and airbricks. Tips on how to lay sandbags effectively are included in the Environment Agency’s new flood proofing guide available at Natural Resources Wales - What to do before, during and after a flood or from Floodline 0345 988 1188.
What to do when you hear a warning
Listen out for warnings on radio and TV, and phone Floodline 0845 988 1188 or visit Environment Agency - Floods for more information.
- Move pets, vehicles, valuables and other items to safety.
- Alert your neighbours, especially the elderly.
- Put sandbags or flood boards in place – but make sure your property is ventilated.
- Be ready to turn off gas and electricity (get help if needed)
- Do as much as you can in daylight. Doing anything in the dark will be a lot harder, especially if the electricity fails.
Be safe in a flood - Beware of flood hazards
Floods can kill. Don’t try to walk or drive through floodwater – six inches of fast flowing water can knock you over and two feet of water will float your car.
Manhole covers may come off and there may be other hazards you can’t see.
Never try to swim through fast flowing water – you may get swept away or be struck by a Floating object in the water.
Avoid contact with floodwater – it may be contaminated with sewage.
If you’ve been flooded:
- Call your insurance company’s (24 hour) Emergency Helpline as soon as possible. They will be able to provide information on dealing with your claim, and assistance in getting things back to normal.
- Open doors and windows to ventilate your house but take care to ensure your house and valuables are secure. It takes a house brick about an inch a month to dry out.
- Contact your gas, electricity and water company. Have your power supplies checked before you turn them back on. Wash taps and run them for a few minutes before use.
- Throw away any food, which may have been in contact with flood water – it could be contaminated.
- Beware of bogus traders. Always check references and if possible get recommendations. Natural Resources Wales has produced practical advice on preparing for a flood and what to do during and after a flood. The guidance can be obtained by contacting Floodline on 0345 988 1188 or at the Natural Resources Wales website.