Summer has come and so has the downpour. Your property has been flooded. Coping with this disaster seems impossible at first, but here are a few pointers to ease your fears.
If you live in a flood prone area, it is sensible to purchase your own supply of sandbags, which can be placed against doorways, and low-level vents in times of flooding to help minimise the amount of water that enters your home.
General and regular home maintenance is essential and will definitely limit damages and discomfort in times of disaster.
- You should not attempt to drive in flood conditions as you are ultimately putting your life at risk.
- Generally, if the water is deeper than the bottom of your doors or the bottom third of your wheels, it is not advisable to drive through it.
- If trapped in a vehicle during flooding, rather abandon the vehicle and climb to higher ground. It is dangerous to try to drive out of the water to safety.
Electricity & gas supply
Turn off gas and electricity if flooding is definitely about to occur.
Tips on how to cope after a flood:
- Firstly, if you need to, seek necessary medical care at the nearest first aid station or hospital. Untreated cuts or injuries can become infected in unsanitary conditions.
- Stay away from flooded areas if possible. Avoid going on ‘sight-seeing’ tours. Stay with your own property to prevent looting after the flood.
- Call your insurance company to tell them what has happened
- Check the Yellow Pages, under Flood Damage, for suppliers of cleaning materials or equipment to dry out your property
- Do not turn on any electrical equipment until you are sure it has dried out
- Contact the gas, electricity and water companies. You'll need to have your supplies checked before you turn them back on.
- Open doors and windows to ventilate your home. It takes a brick about 25mm/a month to dry out. Remember to unblock your airbricks and doorways, but take care to ensure your house is secure against intruders.
- Wash taps and run the water for a few minutes before use. Mains tap water should not be contaminated but check with your local water company if you're concerned.
- Do not allow children to play in floodwater areas and wash children's hands frequently. Disinfect floodwater-affected toys before allowing them to be used.
Do not use any food that has been in contact with floodwater. Contamination is a danger from all sources.