BE FLOOD READY
Welcome to our ‘Be Flood Ready’ page, where you’ll find essential support and resources for domestic flood safety and preparedness. This initiative has been created to equip you with comprehensive knowledge and awareness, ensuring your confidence and readiness during flood emergencies. Explore our in-depth responses to frequently asked questions, covering critical areas on flood preparedness, management and restoration.
It is important to take immediate action to protect your safety and property in the event of a flood. Start by monitoring flood alerts issued by environmental agencies or local authorities and follow their guidance as advised. Secure your valuable items and important documents, and make use of any flood mitigation measures (such as sandbags) that you have available to protect your property.
In the UK, your vulnerability to flooding can vary depending on your location, and you can turn to various environmental agencies or your local authorities for guidance. Many of these resources also offer the option to subscribe to alerts and stay informed about the latest flood warnings.
The decision to evacuate in response to a flood warning depends upon your individual circumstances. If your local authorities have advised evacuation, it is crucial to follow their instructions and vacate your residence as directed. It is advisable to have an emergency plan in position to ensure a safe departure, particularly for individuals with limited mobility, families with young children, or the elderly.
An emergency flood kit should include essential items that will sustain your family’s needs until you are able to return home. Your emergency kit could include non-perishable food, water, warm clothing, medication and first-aid, personal hygiene items including nappies, copies of important documents, flashlights, mobile phones and chargers. Pack these in a waterproof container that is easily accessed, and be sure to follow our other tips in ‘preparing for a flood’.
While flood insurance is not legally required, it is strongly recommended, particularly for properties situated in flood-prone areas. Flood insurance offers vital financial protection in times of crisis and catastrophe. While some homeowners' insurance policies include this coverage, it is essential to carefully review your policy's terms and conditions to ensure you are both covered and compliant to avoid the risk of your flood claim being rejected.
Securing the right insurance is essential for coverage in emergencies, flood insurance can come under broader policies but it’s important to check. Buildings insurance is compulsory for mortgaged homes, covering rebuilding costs, while contents insurance safeguards your belongings, typically following a "new for old" policy. Review your policy's terms and conditions to understand the coverage under your provider.
To ensure a successful flood insurance claim, it's crucial to follow specific steps, which begin with having the necessary documentation and information readily available for swift communication with your insurance company. For a detailed breakdown, refer to our guide on ‘How To Reduce Stress In The Event Of A Fire Or Flood’.
There are many causes of flooding within the UK. There are direct reasons such as the effects of urban infrastructure, agriculture and deforestation, and indirect causes like the impacts of global warming and modern water use. For more information on the cyclical nature of weather and global warming, read our blog ‘A global crisis: the human causes of flooding’.
In the event of a flood, first turn the electricity off at the main switch. Your main water shut-off valve should be located just past the water meter, and often has a green or red handle. Should you suspect a potential gas leak, it would be wise to contact your local emergency services and evacuate immediately. For more guidance, read our blog on ‘Preparing for a Flood and Flood Damage Restoration’.
If your property has flooded, the first thing you should do is document the damage with photos and notes for insurance purposes. You then will need to air out your property, prevent any mould growth, and use a dehumidifier to commence the drying. Find out more in our blog ‘What Do I Do When My House Floods?’.
One of the most challenging consequences of a flooded property is the risk of mould and mildew developing. To address this, start by opening your windows to improve ventilation, and think about purchasing or renting a dehumidifier. Once authorised by your loss adjuster, dispose of anything that is beyond salvage, and begin disinfecting affected surfaces. Before you attempt any repair, read our guide on ‘Things You Should Know About Mould Removal & Remediation’.
When your home becomes uninhabitable due to flooding, there are various temporary housing options available. If you need to completely relocate, your insurance company or local authorities are best positioned to offer assistance. For situations where the flooding is localised, such as in the kitchen or bathroom, you might consider using temporary accommodation options like bathroom or kitchen pods.
It is best to only rely on official sources of information provided by local authorities and environmental agencies, which may vary by region. In the UK, the Met Office serves as the national weather service, and you can also receive updates from organisations such as the Environment Agency in England, the Natural Resources Body for Wales, NIDirect for Northern Ireland, or the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. These resources can also help assess whether your property is at risk of flooding and guide you to the appropriate support, alongside your local governing bodies.
If you find yourself in need of assistance or have any lingering questions, we’d be more than happy to help. Call our national helpline or fill out our form on our Contact Us page.