What to do if your house has flooded

Flooding is an incredible inconvenience and can severe physical, mental and financial consequences, here at Octagon Capital, we explain in detail everything you need to know about house floods.

It is important to educate yourself on how to handle a flood, both in advance, during and in the aftermath. With global warming only on the rise, flooding is likely to become a more common occurrence which is why the information such as that detailed in this article is so vital. Warning Services (Click here, to be taken directly to the Environment Agency Pamphlet)

The Environmental Agency has established a free flood warning services that operate in areas which are particularly at risk of flooding from either rivers or seas. You can sign up either online or over the phone and you can receive these warning through a variety of mediums.  Other warning devices that operate are sirens or loud hailers.

Planning and Advanced Action

By preparing in advance you are at far less risk of damage. Of course, there are times when through either a freak weather event or even an unpredictable occurrence in your home you cannot prepare but it’s important to give planning some thought.

  • Remember who to contact and how you will contact them
  • Agree amongst those close to you where you will go and how you will contact each other
  • Check whether pets, if you have any, are allowed at evacuation centres
  • Keep a list of all the details of useful contacts
  • Think about what you can move in advance
  • Don’t wait for something to happen if it is predicted, so move personal items and items of value to safe places
  • Think about what you would want to move to safety during  a flood
  • Think about who you could help in your nearby area, particularly those who are in a vulnerable position.
  • Check your insurance cover
  • Know how to turn off your water, gas, electricity and mains supplies
  • Prepare a flood kit of essential items and keep it handy

Temporary Flood Protection

You can take measures into your own hands and prepare your home in advance of potential flooding. These methods are simple but can be invaluable later on.

Flood boards: You can attach these to frames around windows and doors and they can be washed and then used again. It is very important to remove flood protection once all of the flood water has left your home, as they may prevent your property from drying out.

Plastic covers for air bricks: These seals can prevent flood water from entering your air bricks

Sandbags: During flood season or during a period in which floods are liable your local governmental organisation may provide sandbags but they may be in low supply. You can make your own by buying pillowcases and filling them with sand.

What to do during a flood?

During a flood, you have to stay focused on protecting yourself. Please remember that whilst material items have a lot of value attached in certain cases they are replaceable and your life is of more importance.

  • Make sure your immediate family and significant others are safe
  • Gather in a high place
  • Bring clean water
  • Turn off electricity, gas and water
  • Keep in communication with emergency services

What to do after a flood?

Once you have made sure that everyone is safe you can then begin to attend to your home and your physical possessions.

It is important to make sure that you are aware that beneath flood waters there could be hidden dangerous objects and that the water could have potentially caused structural damage to your property.

In close to all cases the insurance company will send a member of their team to look at your property and they will confirm what needs to be fixed and how this will be done. If you irresponsibly do not have insurance your local council should be able to provide information on where you can find financial relief.

How to clean up after the flood

  • Flood water can be very dirty so it is important when dealing with it to wear waterproof outwear, wellington boots and a face mask.
  • Do not turn your electricity supply off yourself if it hasn’t been turned off.
  • You can remove the water from your property by using a pump, but it is important only to pump when you know that the flood water outside your property has been removed.
  • You can clean and disinfect your property using the normal products you would use when cleaning the house on a day to day basis.
  • If you are able to dry out by keeping all windows and doors open this is great but if this is not a viable option you are in just as good of a position to be using dehumidifiers.
  • Local councils can provide skips and extra rubbish collections for items which the insurance company has declared you will not be liable for if you throw them away.