Floods and your Home
For more detailed information on how to report flooding please see the Flooding page.
To find out if you are at risk of flooding follow this link and use the flood map to pinpoint your postcode in relation to flood areas:
The Environment Agency has a range of literature available to download which is available via the external link section below. Some of this advice has been outlined on this page:
The Health Protection Agency also has a series of documents offering advice on flood related topics. These can be downloaded via the external links section below.
Some key things to remember are:
- If you are in a flood risk area sign up to the Environment Agency’s free 24 hour Floodline Warnings Direct service by registering online (external link), or calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188. You can select to receive warnings by phone, text, email, fax or pager
- Check that your building and contents insurance is covered for flooding
- Know how to turn off your gas, electricity and water mains supplies
- If a flood is forecasted, consider moving valuable items upstairs and take photos for insurance purposes (both before and after pictures will be required for a claim).
- Find out how to make a Household Emergency Plan by visiting our Preparing for an Emergency page
- Empty sandbags can be purchased from many builders merchants and DIY stores. They can be filled with normal sand, or even soil. Pillow cases filled with earth can also act as a sandbag.
If you have created a Household Emergency Plan and have your emergency supplies to hand, as outlined on the Preparing for an Emergency page, now is the time to use them.
During a flood the Environment Agency advises you to:
- Gather essential items together either upstairs or in a high place
- Keep children, vulnerable people and pets out of flood water
- Turn off gas, electricity and water supplies if flood water may enter your home
- Flood water can rise quickly, stay calm and reassure those around you. Call 999 if you are in danger
Flood water can be dangerous, so:
- Avoid driving and walking through it where possible, especially if it flowing water, or if you can't see how deep it is
- Be aware that manhole covers can be lifted by flood water so only travel through flood water as a last resort
- Wash your hands thoroughly if you touch flood water as it may be contaminated.
Firstly, it is important to find out if it is safe to return to your home. Extensive flooding may have caused structural damage to your property.
Call your contents and building insurance providers (and/or your landlord if you rent) as soon as possible so they can start assessing your claim.
If your home floods avoid using your electricity supply until it has been checked by an electrician - ensure all electrical equipment has dried out thoroughly before use.
On returning to your home after a flood, all equipment, particularly kitchen equipment should be thoroughly washed and disinfected, where possible using a dishwasher on a high setting. For items that cannot go in a dishwasher, such as plastics, it may be possible to use diluted bleach to kill germs. All other items should be wiped or cleaned thoroughly. Please read the label on disinfectant/bleach containers to ensure it is suitable for use.
The Food Standards Agency offers advice with regard to food safety and flooding (see external links below). Do not to eat food that has been in contact with flood water or sewerage.
Once a sandbag has been used it cannot be re-used due to the potential harm that could be caused from contaminated water.
Sandbags are classified as building material and the council will therefore not collect old/used sandbags. You can take old/used sandbags to the reuse and recycling centre:
- Wood Green Reuse and Recycling Centre
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