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Flood advice - What to do before, during and after a flood

Flooding can occur at any point throughout the year in Britain. There are many events which can lead to flooding such as heavy downpours, persistent rain fall, and high sea levels combined with unsettled weather conditions. Other more localised flooding issues can be down to problems with infrastructure such as poor or blocked drainage systems.

Whatever the cause, it is important to be prepared in the possible event of flooding, particularly if you are located within a flood risk area.

If there has been a weather warning or you feel that you may be at risk of flooding, here are some practical steps you can take to lessen the impact of a potential flood.

Before a flood

  • Put any flood resistance measures (barriers, seals etc.) you have installed into place. Read more on how to protect your home from flooding
  • Alternatively, contact your local council for sandbags and place them in tightly packed layers at any potential water entry point. If you are unable to use sandbags, cover water entry points with plywood or metal sheeting as an alternative. Leave internal doors open; if the water does get in it could cause more damage if doors are left shut
  • Ensure that all mains supplies to your home have been turned off and that you have disconnected any electrical items
  • If you have made one, get your Flood Plan out and start to implement it
  • Place any key pieces of personal documentation such as birth certificates and passports within a waterproof holder (available from camping or sailing suppliers). Also keep insurance documents, bank details and important contact details in a safe place
  • Within your home, try to move soft furnishings to a higher level, either by taking them upstairs if this is possible and safe to do, or putting them on blocks or other items of furniture to get them off the floor. Lift or tie up curtains so they are not touching the ground
  • If you have pets, make sure you make arrangements to move them away from the property if it is possible
  • If you have a vehicle, try and move it to higher ground away from the rising water.

During a flood

  • During a flood, always ensure you and your family's safety first, rather than that of your personal belongings
  • Do not enter rooms where electrical equipment has not been turned off and do not touch any electrical items that have got wet during the flood
  • Get any photographic evidence of the flooding. This will help assess the state of the damage and help with any insurance claim following the flood
  • Contact us or your local NFU Mutual Agent - we can assist with alternative accommodation and emergency payments if needed.

After a flood

  • As part of your claim, we will help with the clean up and restoration of your property
  • For health reasons do not drink water from the tap until you have been told it is safe for consumption
  • If you think that the flood waters may have been contaminated, with sewage for example, do not use any items the water came into contact with until they have been properly cleaned and disinfected. Please be aware that some of these items may need to be disposed of
  • Do not turn electrical equipment back on until it has been confirmed that it is safe to do so by a qualified electrical engineer.

For more information or advice on what you can do to lessen the impact of flooding contact your local NFU Mutual branch.

NFU Mutual has developed advice and guidance on flooding for customers who consider themselves to be at risk of flood. For more information please click here.