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Flood protection: Be prepared

While winter is drawing to a close, there are still some significant risks to properties due to bad weather. This was highlighted recently with the damage caused by Storm Imogen.

What should you do?

There are a number of steps that you can take to prepare for floods:

  • Visit the following websites (depending on your UK location):Environment Agency (EA)Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) where you’ll find useful tools to help determine if a property is at risk of flooding, prepare a flood plan, and know what action to take if a flood does occur
  • The EA, NRW and SEPA work with local authorities to provide advice and information to the public before and during flood emergencies and can be contacted 24 hours a day via their dedicated Floodline number: 0345 988 1188
  • For coastal and riverside areas with a high risk of flooding, these agencies will also be able to tell you whether more localised flood warning information is available via dedicated telephone numbers. To learn more about the EA, NRW and SEPA Flood warning symbols, click here

Automatic weather alerts

To be kept informed of potential severe weather and possible flooding, you may wish to sign up for automatic alerts available from:

Floods

Once you are aware that floods are likely in your area, they can take the following steps to limit damage:

  • Be prepared by moving essential items to higher floors and knowing how to turn off your gas, electricity and water mains supplies
  • Obtain some sandbags. These can be used to reduce the amount of water entering your property, blocking air bricks, doors and basement windows
  • If a property is unoccupied, inform neighbours and ask if they can keep an eye on your property
  • In coastal areas, check the predicted high tide times when the risk of flooding is at its highest
  • Keep an eye on weather warnings and be prepared to evacuate if told to do so
  • Keep mobile phones charged up

Storm Damage

  • Ensure roof tiles and slates are secure and replace any damaged tiles, so that you do not get water damage in the loft/roof space
  • Guttering should be secure and fairly free from leaves and debris. Blocked gutters are a common cause of water ingress. Consider investing in leaf guards to put over the gutters and prevent leaves from building up
  • Put outdoor items away, or secure them. The main danger in storm tends to be flying debris so it is very important to put everything away. It is also a good idea to remove any loose branches from trees as well

Flood Re

An important development to note regarding flood insurance is that Flood Re will become available from April 2016 for all homes in the UK built before 2009. It is designed to make flood cover affordable for those households at highest risk of flooding and increase availability and choice.

To find out more visit Flood Re

Sources: AllianzAmlinFlood Re

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