Flooding is a high-risk factor for so many UK residents. In fact, an average of one in six homes in England and Wales alone which are vulnerable to flooding from rivers, surface water or the sea. With Britain being such a small island, not to mention prone to a lot of rain, we are all much more susceptible to our homes flooding than a lot of other countries. Particularly vulnerable areas are those situated by the sea, as well as homes located in the bottom of valleys, where water will spill into after a heavy rainfall.
While taking out home insurance will help you to repair the damage and replace your possessions, flooding is not something a home can recover from overnight. With hundreds of homes flooding every year in the UK, it can take weeks or even months to repair the damage, so preparing for this danger is key.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Buy sandbags
Invest in some unfilled sandbags, as well as sand from a building supply store. When you know that there is due to be heavy rain, fill the sandbags with the sand and place them outside your doors. This will help to absorb the water, as well as act as a protective buffer from the water. Sandbags are also great for slowing down flood water entering your garden if you place them in front of your gate, too.
- Cover up ventilation
To stop flood water from entering your home through your ventilation systems, make sure these are covered in the event of a flood. There are specially designed covers invented to place over ventilation bricks, which act as a source of flooding during heavy rainfall.
- Barricade the door
If a flood is imminent, close and lock all your doors and windows. This is the first step, but you can also purchase custom-made panels to place over your doors and windows for floods.
- Clear the guttering
Make sure your gutters are clear, this includes your roof and your drainage system on the ground. Doing this will give the water somewhere to flow into when it comes down, helping to steer it away from entering your home.
- Take photos
Take pictures of your house before the flood. This may help you when it comes to claiming on your insurance in the event of your home being flooded.
- Clog the toilet
This might seem counterintuitive, but placing a sandbag in your toilet bowl will prevent sewage overflowing into your home. It might be a good idea to invest in some rubber gloves when removing this bag after the flood!
- Safeguard your valuables
Some people are more materialistic than others, but ensure that you place all your most-treasured possessions in a location well above flooding level to keep them dry, preferably in the attic.
- Pack some essentials
Hopefully, you will not need to be evacuated from your home – this only happens in extreme circumstances. However, if a flash flood does occur, or a violent storm is heading your way, it’s best to pack some essentials to have ready; these include toiletries, medication, clothing and toys for the children.
This should not be constructed as advice and is guidance only.