The UK is bracing itself for heavy floods and snow, so far being hit with seven flood warnings, where immediate action is required, and 15 flood alerts where people should be prepared, as of this morning.
Flooding can have devastating consequences to people’s homes, livelihoods, and can put lives at risk. While it may be too late for the 70 people that had to be rescued, there is still time for you to prepare. Here is some safety advice for before, during and after flooding.
Preparing for a flood should first begin with checking a flood risk map, which can be found on Gov.UK. If your area is due to be affected, you can prepare your home with prevention items such as sandbags and toilet bungs for downstairs lavatories to reduce the risk of sewage flow in the house. You can also insert plugs into sinks and baths and weigh them down with a soil filled bag. It is advisable to disconnect appliances that use water, and disable the water, gas and electric by the mains.
The idea of leaving your home to be engulfed by water can be overwhelming, but staying in the home during a flood can be a serious risk. There is the risk of becoming trapped, electrocuted, and even carbon monoxide poisoning should you be using back up heaters or generators. You should find a safe place, or follow the guidance of police and other emergency services to safety.
Flooding brings with it contaminated water, to avoid health risks – especially for older people – do not drink, cook with, wash or clean crockery in flood water.
One of the biggest areas for concern during flooding is travelling. We recommend avoiding driving in floods, but understand that people won’t always abide by this. Should you need to drive into flood waters, plan your route in advance, carry an up-to-date emergency kit, and make sure you have a way to contact the emergency services should you need assistance.
Flood water is more powerful than you may think. When out and about, avoid it. The water may be deeper than you expect, and the currents stronger.
The cleaning up process after a flood can be a scary task with all of the potential risks. You should first assess the situation to determine whether or not you need an engineer to advise on electricity and gas supplies. If it is safe to begin cleaning, wear rubber gloves, boots and goggles to avoid contaminated water. Take photos of your home and keep records to send to your insurance company.
For more information on flood safety and flood warnings, see our website.
David Walker, leisure safety manager
Posted: 11/24/2017 1:34:15 PM