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What to do during and after a flood

In the event of a flood, it is important to focus on your safety and the safety of your family. You will find advice here which will help you to prepare and act quickly


If a flood is imminent, do these things now:

  • if you have a flood plan, follow the actions listed
  • tune into your local radio station on a battery or wind-up radio
  • switch off your electricity/gas supplies
  • move vehicles if it is safe to do so
  • move furniture, pets and important items to safety

Contact Floodline for information about flooding

Stay alert to localised flooding

'Localised flooding' is also known as 'surface water flooding'. This usually occurs where drainage systems are unable to cope with heavy spells of rainfall. We are unable to give you a direct warning about this type of flooding.

Find out about the possibility of 'surface water flooding' in your area by checking local weather forecasts.

Floodwater is dangerous

  • Six inches of fast flowing water can knock you over
  • Two feet of water will float your car
  • Flooding can cause manhole covers to come off, exposing hidden dangers
  • Do not walk or drive through flood water
  • Do not let children play in flood water
  • Do not walk on sea defences or riverbanks
  • When water levels are high, be aware that bridges may be dangerous to walk on or drive over
  • Culverts 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

What to do after a flood

Find out if it is safe to return to your property

  • Take care as there may be hidden dangers in floodwater, such as sharp objects, raised manhole covers and pollution
  • Flood water might have caused structural damage to your property

Remember: Flood water can contain sewage, chemicals and animal waste.

Ring your buildings and contents insurance company as soon as possible

  • In almost all cases, the insurance company will send a loss adjuster to look at your property. They will confirm what repairs and replacements are needed and which elements are covered by your policy. Ask if they will help pay for repairs that will reduce potential flood damage and therefore reduce costs if it happens again
  • If you rent your property, contact your landlord and your contents insurance company as soon as possible
  • If you do not have insurance, your local council should be able to provide information on hardship grants or charities that may be able to help you

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