Storm Desmond has battered the UK bringing severe flooding and devastation to many homes.
How can I prepare for a flood in my home?
Move furniture and electrical items to safety
Put flood boards, polythene and sandbags in place to seal gaps
Turn off electricity, water and gas supplies
Roll up carpets and rugs
Move your car out of the flood risk area
Place important documents inside polythene bags and move them to safety
Who does what during a flood?
The Environment Agency:
Issues flood warnings
Deal with emergency repairs and blockages on main rivers
Responds to pollution incidents
Local authorities and district councils:
Maintain safe conditions in the road
Put flood warning signs on the highways
Organise road closures and traffic diversions
Clear blockages on highway draining systems
Fire and Rescue Service:
Respond to emergency incidents as required
Clear blockages in public sewers
Take overall responsibility for co-ordinating during an incident
What should I do during a flood?
The main advice is to focus on the safety of yourself and your family. If you have not had time to prepare, work with the people around you and do the following as soon as possible:
Switch off your electricity and gas
DO NOT touch sources of electricity when standing in flood water
Move your family and pets upstairs, or to a high place with a means of escape
Try and install flood protection items to seal gaps
Check in with vulnerable neighbours and relatives
Move important items to safety
Flood water is dangerous. Protect yourself.
Try and avoid walking or driving through it
Keep children and vulnerable people away from it
Wash your hands thoroughly if you touch it
What should I do after a flood?
Take care when cleaning up. Flood water can contain sewage chemicals and animal waste. Always wear waterproofs, a face mask and some welly boots.
Take pictures of the damage
You can get water out of your property using a pump and generator, but only do so when the levels outside are lower than inside. This will reduce structural damage.
Contact your insurance company: ask how long they will take to come around
Mark the level the water reached with a pen: this will enable your insurer to check for potential structural damage.