What to do if your home is about to flood

A flood event can have dangerous consequences, so it is essential that you know exactly what to do if one should occur. Here is some quick advice if your home is about to be flooded:

  • Stay in communication
    Keep up to date with flood advice for your local area via your mobile device or local radio station. Travel information may be broadcast informing you of any safe evacuation routes out of flood affected areas.
  • Find your flood survival kit
    For more information on what should go in a flood survival kit, please click here.
  • Put in place any flood defence measures
    Any manual flood defences you have for your home should be fixed in place. This could include mounting any manual flood protection measures – providing it is safe to do so! Do not put yourself at risk to install these measures. If you have sandbags, these can be put around any unprotected points where water may enter.
  • Turn off all utilities
    Using the correct tools, turn off all utilities to your home if it is safe to do so. This includes gas, water and electricity. Do not touch any electrical appliances that are, or have been, in contact with flood water, or if you are standing in flood water.
  • Block plumbing entry holes to the property
    If you do not have a non-return valve installed on property waste water exits then put the plug in sinks, baths and showers and place a sandbag (or other heavy weight) over the entrance holes to help prevent back-flow. Disconnect from the mains, any appliances with direct water access (e.g. washing machines or dishwashers).
  • Implement your flood plan
    Move any items you can to higher ground, away from potential floodwater ingress.
  • Stay Calm! Stay Safe!
    Flooding can be a very scary and traumatic experience, it is essential that you stay calm and safe during these events. Your number one priority is keeping yourself safe! If you are advised to leave your house at any time by a member of the emergency services then do so as soon as possible and remember if there is any threat to life then you should call 999 immediately. If you have already created a flood plan then you should follow this. Your flood survival kit should contain everything you need to remain safe during a flood event.
  • When you leave, do not walk or drive through floodwater
    Remember it only takes 30cm of floodwater to knock over an adult and 60cm of flowing water to move a car! Floodwater can also hide hazards such as kerb edges, potholes and low obstacles.

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Further support

Flood forums can offer a wide range of additional advice and support:

  • National Flood Forum – independent charity organisation that works alongside flood affected communities nationally within the UK, to deal with the impacts and challenges of flooding
  • Scottish Flood Forum – A network of community flood resilience groups, providing information, training and support for flood-affected communities in Scotland.

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