What to do when floods hit - Environment Agency guide

Stormy weather at Walcott earlier this year. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY Stormy weather at Walcott earlier this year. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Thursday, December 5, 2013
8:51 AM

The Environment Agency has issued a point-by-point guide to coping with floods.

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It includes:

BE READY

■ Put your personal flood plan into action if you have one

■ Call Floodline on 0845 988 1188

■ Tune into local radio

■ Check the three-day flood risk forecast

■ Check the weather forecast

■ See the Met Office website

■ Check road travel information before making a journey.

GATHER ESSENTIALS

■ Fill jugs and saucepans with water

■ Grab your flood kit if you have prepared one

■ Collect blankets, torch, first aid kit, medication and food

MOVE ITEMS

■ Move important documents, personal items, valuables, lightweight belongings upstairs or to high shelves

■ Raise large items of furniture, or put them in large bags if you have them

■ Move people, outdoor belongings, cars and pets to higher ground

PREPARE YOUR PROERTY

■ Switch off water, gas and electricity at mains when water is about to enter your home. Do not touch sources of electricity when standing in water

■ Fit flood protection products if you have them, eg flood boards, airbrick covers, sandbags, and toilet bungs on downstairs toilets

■ Put plugs in sinks and baths. Weigh them down with a pillowcase or plastic bag filled with soil

■ If you do not have non-return valves fitted, plug water inlet pipes with towels or cloths

■ Disconnect equipment that uses water, like washing machines and dishwashers

STAY OUT OF FLOODWATER

■ Avoid walking or driving through flood water

■ Be aware that flooding can cause manhole covers to come off

■ Keep children and vulnerable people out of floodwater

■ Don’t walk on sea defences or riverbanks

■ Take care or avoid crossing bridges when water levels are high

■ Take care crossing culverts as they are dangerous when flooded

■ Look out for other hazards such as fallen power lines and trees

■ Wash your hands thoroughly if you touch floodwater as it may be contaminated

TAKE ACTION IN AN EMERGENCY

■ Call 999 if you are in danger, or people have been injured

■ Check in on vulnerable neighbours

■ Move people and pets upstairs or to a higher place with means of escape

■ Remain calm

■ Evacuate when told

■ Follow the advice of emergency services if they tell you to evacuate - they will take you to a centre run by the local council and give you food and bedding

■ Bring clothing, medication, and baby care items

■ Bring pets in a secure carrier and pet food

■ Tell someone if you intend to stay with friends or relatives instead of the evacuation centre.

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