To help you better prepare for flash floods, rather than rely on big infrastructure projects like drainage, dams, sea walls ..., we'd like to share some good advice with you learned from experts at flood events, exhibitions, meeting with councils, the Environment Agency, flood charities and flood mitigation product suppliers.
Sign up to receive flood warnings if you have not already. Not sure whether or not your area is covered by this service offered by the Environment Agency, call Floodline on 0345 988 1188 to check if your area receives free flood warnings.
Book mark https://flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/5-day-flood-risk and set a reminder to check it 2 times a week. There are flood apps with mixed reviews you may also want to consider. It might sound like overkill but as the climate changes extreme weather events like flooding will happen more frequently and at unusual times. We have seen summer floods as well as those we come to expect in autumn and winter. Flash floods can happen at any time so the twice a week weather check should become routine.
Make a flood plan. There is a template in our News and Articles Page you can download directly from .Gov website https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/personal-flood-plan.
The government, authorities and charities are limited in that they cannot endorse a specific company or product even if they know it would be in the public’s interest as the Pitt Review recommended in 2007. You may want to update their plan to include Flood Traps instead of sand bags.
Check your home insurance covers flood damage and keep details on your phone, take a photo of the policy number and add the insurance company’s number to your telephone’s contact directory.
Keep records of medicines, phone numbers, bank details and insurance documents and important documents like birth certificates and passports in a flood / fire proof box, preferably upstairs.
Prepare a list of things for an emergency grab bag with necessities to see you through if you are stuck in doors for a few days without power or have to leave your home until the flood risk has gone. This should include:-
Identify the quickest and safest way to leave you property if you have to in an emergency and agree a safe place for you to meet up with family and friends if you become separated.
Identify items you can take upstairs to be better protected against flood damage, consider the most lightweight, irreplaceable and precious things to you like photos and computers containing important information.
Add any number of people you need to contact in case of emergency, make them ICE so the emergency services can find them too if they need to help you.
Check you know how to turn off supplies to your home like water, gas and electricity. You may need to disconnect all these before leaving a property at risk of flood to reduce possible consequential damage.
Think about how you will cater for the needs of babies, children the elderly, disabled and pets should you be faced with a flood. Like you they will need to be sheltered in a dry place with food and water until the floods subside.
Check your neighbours & share ideas and resources to get through the crisis, it is not a time to be proud.
Make sure your car is up for the trip, battery charged, tyres pumped, fuelled and ready to go, especially in freezing weather. Avoid driving or walking through contaminated flood water even a little can be very dangerous, enough to knock you over or stall and flood your car.
Call the emergency services if you have to, follow their instructions and do not risk injury to yourself, you cannot help anyone if you are hurt.
Have a CLEAR plan for an emergency as described in this video produced by the Devon Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Resilience Forum.