What To Do
Before During And After A Flood
The following article talks about creating a flood plan so that you are prepared for flooding before it happens and know what to do during a flood. It also talks about how to recover and clean up after a flood.
Before A Flood
It’s important to think about flooding and prepare for it before it happens. If possible you should sign up for free flood warnings and alerts with your local or national weather center. You should also create a flood plan so you are prepared.
Flood Preparation Tips
- If available for your neighborhood, sign up for free flood warning messages.
- Look at the best way of stopping flood water entering your property.
- Make a Flood Plan for what you will do in a flood and prepare your home for when there is a flood.
- Focus on flood proofing your property using flood boards and air brick covers.
- Buy flood insurance to protect your home and your belongings.
- If flooding has been forecast where you live, listen to local radio.
- Pack a ‘flood kit’ in case you need to leave your home.
- Know how to turn off your gas, electricity, and water before flood water enters your home.
Making A Flood Plan
Make a flood plan that includes a list of the following information and contact numbers:
- Electricity provider contact number.
- Gas provider contact number.
- Water company contact number.
- Insurance company details and policy number.
- Local radio station.
- Travel and Weather info.
- Make a list now of what you can move away from the risk.
List the location of the shut-off points including shut off instructions for the following utilities.
List key locations of people who can help you and how they can help? for example:
- Friend or neighbor.
In Case Of Evacuation – Prepare A Flood Kit In Advance
Identify what you would need to take with you if you had to leave your home. Get your flood kit together and remember to include items like.
- Warm and Waterproof Clothing.
- Medication and Medical Devices.
- Toys for Children and Pets.
- Rubber gloves.
- Rain Boots.
- Insurance Documents.
- Bank Cards and Money.
- Glasses and Contact Lenses.
- Toothbrush and Personal items.
- If you have a baby, pack diapers, clothing and baby food.
During A Flood
Accidents can happen in fast flowing flood water so avoid walking or driving in or near flood water. Driving in flood
water significantly increases the risk of drowning. Do not let your children play in flood water.
Move your family, pets, and flood kit to a high place from which you can escape.
Do not touch sources of electricity if you are standing in water.
Listen to the advice of the emergency services and evacuate when told to do so.
Remember that flooding is stressful. It is normal to feel anxious or upset. Take care of yourself and your
family. Check on elderly and vulnerable friends and neighbors.
Avoid contact with flood water and wash your hands regularly. Swallowing flood water or mud can cause
diarrhea, fever or abdominal pain.
Take care if you must go into flood water. You will be at risk from hidden dangers like sharp objects raised manhole
covers and pollution.
Do not turn on gas or electrics if they may have got wet. Only turn them on when they have been checked by
a qualified technician.
If you notice a change in water quality, such as a change in the color, taste or smell of your tap water, phone your
Actions To Take During A Flood
- Move furniture and electrical items to safety.
- Put flood boards, polythene, and sandbags in place.
- Turn off electricity, water and gas supplies.
- Roll up carpets and rugs.
- Unless you have time to remove them, hang curtains and drapes over rods.
- Move sentimental items to safety.
- Put important documents in polythene bags and move to safety.
Garden and outside
- Move your vehicle out of the flood risk area.
- Move any large or loose items or weigh them down.
- Move important documents, computers, and stock.
- Alert staff and ask for their help.
- Farmers move animals and livestock to safety.
After A Flood
If your home is damaged by flood water stay with friends or family or ask your local authority to help you find alternative accommodation. Only return to your home when essential repairs and cleaning are completed.
After a flood don’t eat food that has touched flood water. Do not eat fresh food from the refrigerator or freezer if your electricity has been turned off for more than four hours.
Wash your hands regularly with clean water and soap. If there is no clean water, use wet wipes or hand sanitizing
gel. Clean work surfaces before and after preparing food.
Cleaning Up After A Flood
Phone your insurance company as soon as possible and follow their advice. Take photographs before you
start cleaning and ask your insurer before discarding items that cannot be cleaned such as mattresses and floor coverings.
Wear rubber boots and gloves to clean up, and be sure to wash your hands afterward. Clean all hard surfaces such
as walls and floors with hot water and detergent. Hard surfaces contaminated by sewage need to be cleaned
Wash clothes used for cleaning separately from your other clothes. Wash soft items such as clothing, bedding
and children’s toys on a 140.0 °F / 60°C cycle with detergent.
Place rubbish in hard bins or in rubbish bags. Dispose of dead rodents and pests in a plastic bag, wearing
Using heaters and dehumidifiers along with good ventilation can help to dry out your home. Mould will stop growing as your home dries out but if it persists, contact a specialist cleaner.
If using portable indoor heating appliances to dry out indoor spaces make sure there is good ventilation. Do not use petrol or diesel generators or other similar fuel-driven equipment indoors because the exhaust gases contain carbon monoxide which can kill.