During a flood
Advice on what you should and shouldn't do in the event of a flood, or when a flood is expected.
- Keep together and safe with your family and those around you. Consider any vulnerable or elderly neighbours and make sure they are aware of the situation.
- Have an emergency 'grab bag' prepared.
- Pay close attention to the advice of the emergency services and local authority. Take all warnings seriously and respond quickly.
- Switch off all electrical and gas appliances at the mains - make sure you know how to do this quickly.
- Stay alert, and monitor the ongoing situation.
- Block downstairs toilets and drains to prevent back flow of sewage - use a sandbag or a strong bin bag filled with soil.
- Move important items to a high and safe place within the home.
- Don't enter flood water. Only six inches of fast flowing water can knock a person over and there may be unseen hazards - uncovered manholes, sharp edges and unstable surfaces may be hidden beneath the surface.
- Don't drive through flood water. Less than two feet of water can be enough to float a car and beneath the water may be hidden hazards such as sudden drops, debris and fallen power lines.
- Don't come into contact with flood water - it is often contaminated with sewage and other substances. Wear rubber gloves and boots, and wash thoroughly if you do accidentally come into contact with flood water.
- Don't ever attempt to swim through flood water. You may be swept away and being a strong swimmer will not protect you from being struck by flowing debris.
- Don't re-enter a flooded area until you are advised it is safe to do so.
- Don't enter a property that has been flooded unless you are sure it is structurally safe - if in doubt it should be checked professionally.
- Don't turn on your electricity or gas supplies until they have been checked by a qualified electrician/engineer. Be aware of gas leaks - do not smoke or use open flames.