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When the flood starts
THINGS YOU SHOULD DO ONCE THE FLOOD HAS STARTED:-
- Do keep watching and listening. Stay alert, events can change very quickly during a flood. Keep an eye on the weather and listen out for warnings on the radio and TV.
- Do be careful. It is tempting to stand on walls and bridges to see what is happening but it is all too easy to slip and fall in.
- Do move people and pets upstairs or to higher ground.
- Do listen to local radio and TV for announcements. If the flooding is serious the emergency services and your local authority may decide to evacuate you. Do exactly what they tell you. Remember to take supplies such as medication with you, you may be away from your home for a while.
ONCE A FLOOD IS IN PROGRESS, IT IS ADVISABLE NOT TO DO THE FOLLOWING:-
- Don’t drive through floodwater. Two feet of flowing water is enough to sweep your car away.
- Don’t walk in floodwater that is above knee level, it can easily knock you off your feet. The water could cover open manholes, road works or objects and you won’t be able to see them.
- Don’t touch items that have been in contact with the water. Flood water is likely to be contaminated and could contain sewage. Disinfect and clean thoroughly everything that’s got wet.
After the Flood has finished
ONCE THE FLOOD HAS FINISHED YOU SHOULD DO THE FOLLOWING:-
- Do call your insurance broker or company. Tell them what’s happened. They’ll need to get moving quickly.
- Do check in Yellow Pages under Flood Damage for suppliers of cleaning materials or equipment to dry out your property.
- Do contact the gas, electricity and water companies. You’ll need to have your supplies checked before you turn them back on. Find their numbers on the back of a recent bill or in the phone book.
- Do open your doors and windows to ventilate your home. It takes a brick about an inch a month to dry out, so take care to ensure your house is secure. Remember to unblock your airbricks and doorways.
- Do watch out for any broken glass or nails while you’re clearing up.
- Do wash taps and run them for a few minutes before use. Mains tap water should not be contaminated but check with your local water company if you’re concerned.
AFTER THE FLOOD, IT IS ADVISED YOU DO NOT CARRY OUT THE FOLLOWING:-
- Don’t turn any electrical items back on. Make sure they’ve dried out first.
- Don’t trust bogus traders. With so much damage to repair, it’s tempting to take the first offer that comes along. Always check references and, if possible, get recommendations.
- Don’t panic if you feel you can’t cope. The Citizens’ Advice Bureaux and other organisations may be able to help if you feel under pressure, their numbers can be found in the phone book.
- Don’t think it can’t happen again. Restock your supplies.