With the heaviest rainfall season approaching, preparation and awareness are key to reducing the impact of a flood. We have compiled a collection of flood prevention measures that can be taken to limit damage to your property.
Following the floods in the north of England this summer, it is important that preparations are taken for the eventuality of yet more floods occurring across the country. The Government’s campaign, Prepare Act Survive, states that 5.2 million properties in England are at risk of flooding.
With our experience of helping people restore their property post-flood, we have outlined the measures we feel can help to limit the damage floods may cause, guidance on how you should act in the event of a flood, and the steps you can follow to recover.
How should we prepare for a flood?
If you know you’re in a high-risk flood area, have an emergency bag packed and a list of essential items you would need to gather quickly. In the event of an evacuation, you will then have your essentials with you as well as important documents and medications.
A quick response kit should floodwaters start to reach your property can help reduce impact of flooding. Have tools and equipment stored and ready if needed such as buckets, sandbags, wellies and protective clothing. A subsequent contingency plan should also be in place in case these defences don’t work and you need to evacuate. Local resources and aid will be on hand to help, but it is always useful to have your own back-up plan.
How can I prepare my building for flooding?
There are many ways you can limit the damage of flooding on your home. Although effective, we cannot say they will be completely flood proof. Nevertheless, the steps you can take to limit damage and make your home and business more flood resilient include:
- Flood barriers
- Airbrick covers
- Non-return valves
- Drainage gullies
- Landscaping e.g. swales, porous surfaces, gravel driveways.
New proposals from Flood Re see the organisation plan to work with commercial insurers to provide money to homeowners affected by the flooding, to prepare them for future occurrences. Clearly a different steer within the insurance industry, however they plan to work with loss adjusters to effectively determine the correct measures for each property.
What steps should we take during a flood?
Safety is, above all, most important. Evacuate as early as possible, before the situation potentially worsens. If possible, try to switch off gas, electricity and water supplies, unless the sources are already in standing water.
It is saddening to see our beloved belongings ruined. If it is safe to do so, try to move as many items as you can and store them at first floor or above and as high as possible.
Avoid driving through flood water – it only takes a small amount to move your car. It is especially important to limit the amount of walking through floodwater, as debris and objects floating around can cause injury.
As always, if you are in danger, call 999 and follow their advice.
What happens after the flood?
Don’t always assume it is safe to return home – check with the emergency services before doing so.
Contact your insurance company as soon as possible. The earlier they are contacted, the sooner loss adjusters like ourselves can assess the damage and begin the process of addressing the damage and installing temporary facilities. Taking photographs to document the damage caused to the property, will be of benefit to your claim.
Your local area may also have a ‘flood hub’, flood warden or flood action group. For local support, contact the National Flood Forum.
Insurance claims and loss adjusters
From the moment loss adjusters like ourselves attend the property, we are assessing the scale of damage and the necessary repairs required to make sure you can get back to normality as soon as possible.
Through our contractor network, Quadrassist, we have a large range of fully vetted and approved contractors, meaning we get the right people out to start work quickly and efficiently. You can find out more about our specialist repair network here.