Hampshire County Council has issued this advice for residents dealing with flooding.
Take extreme care and do not walk in flood water if you can avoid it.Be aware that man hole covers may have been displaced by flood water, even if shallow.Co-operate fully with the emergency services.Move people and animals to a place of safety. Provide a litter tray for pets.Switch off gas, water and electricity.Listen to the local radio for up to date news on the flood.Have spare clothes, wellingtons, waterproofs, torch batteries, radio and food readily available in your Emergency Pack.If you need to be evacuated because of severe flooding or damage, contact the Police or dial 999.Remember to lock up if you leave your property.Call your insurance company. Tell them what has happened.The sewerage system may become submerged and some toilets and other drainage arrangements may not function properly. Should the public sewer begin to surcharge please contact Southern Water on 08452 780845.Assume that flood water contains sewage; ensure that you wear gloves when handling affected items.Always wash your hands with soap and clean water after being in contact with floodwater, sewage or items that may have come into contact with floodwater.Keep any wounds clean and cover with waterproof plasters to prevent infection from waterborne diseases, particularly if you are in contact with floodwater, or items that have been in contact with floodwater. If in doubt seek medical attention.Contact your insurance company who will give you advice regarding appropriate steps you should take under your policy and what action they will take to help you.Advise the Borough Council's Environment & Health Service.Minimise your water usage.Where your home is served by main sewers: advise Southern Water/your service provider. If necessary, households will be provided with suitable alternative foul drainage by the Water Authorities, for example Portaloos.If you have a septic tank: if possible temporarily block the outflow from the septic tank to the soak away (a sandbag can be helpful) and use the tank as a cesspit. Have the tank emptied before unblocking the outlet when waters recede.If your septic tank or cesspit fails due to rising water: it would be helpful to arrange for the tank to be emptied, if this is practical. If it fills up again, it will be with groundwater and floodwater; pollution due to the foul water will be minimised.Don'tAllow children to play in floodwater areas. Always wash children's hands frequently and disinfect floodwater-affected toys before allowing them to be used.Throw rubbish into watercourses or leave debris on the banks - it can add to the flooding problemUse electrical circuits or equipment exposed to flood water until checked by a qualified electricianDispose of damaged goods until your insurers have had a chance to inspect themUse domestic water supply until you are advised it is safe to drinkUse the flood water for drinking, food preparation, washing or bathing - the water will be contaminated with sewage and other pollutionUse any foodstuffs that have been in contact with flood water.