1. Do not drive through floods
Driving through floods is incredibly dangerous as cars can easily be washed away, and you will put others at risk by getting a call out. There is also a pollution risk of driving through flood water and should your car need repairing, it will be an expensive undertaking.
A car can float and be washed away in as little as 30cm of fast flowing water. Just 15cm of fast-flowing water can knock you off your feet and be enough for you not to be able to regain your footing. Avoid entering flood water if you can.
2. Save what is valuable to you
If you are concerned about a flood entering your home, think about what is important to you. Perhaps save pictures and paper over electronics which can be easily replaced. Make a quick plan in advance of flooding of what is really valuable to you.
3. Prepare your essentials
Make sure your mobile phone is charged and have a torch handy. Be prepared for your phone to run out of battery and ensure you write down the phone numbers of your loved ones should your phone lose power.
4. Look after your neighbours
There can be silver linings to flood events in the growth of community spirit and a network of support. Help others if you can and if it is safe to do so, and they will help you. The long recovery from a flood can be greatly eased with support from you neighbours.
5. Use sandbags
Blocking doors and other openings such as airbricks with sandbags can really help but remember to try and add in a plastic layer as sandbags leak.
6. Build back smarter
Lightening may rarely strike twice but flooding does. As you recover from a flood event, think about how you could make your homes safer and more resilient during a flood and easier to clean up afterwards. There are considerable resources out there to help, both with good advice and with financial support. Our advice is to start with your local authority.
Properties at risk of flooding can, with some exceptions, be covered by flood insurance through FloodRE, a joint initiative between the Government and insurers. Look for information on what to do before, during and after a flood in the National Flood Forum portal (nationalfloodforum.org.uk).
Flooding in the UK will continue to be a problem, whether it’s from rivers, surface water or from the sea. Please do stay alert and keep an eye the risk of flooding. Sign up for a government flood warning service (https://www.gov.uk/sign-up-for-flood-warnings), understand if you are in a flood risk area and keep a virtual eye on river levels (https://www.gaugemap.co.uk/). Always follow the advice from the emergency services.