Water and Flood Management Should Be Taken Seriously
Much of Britain's housing stock is build in and near flood plains. More than five million residents of England and Wales are at risk for being affected by floods, and understanding how to prepare for a flood is essential for these people. Floods happen with little or no warning, and advance preparations can mean the difference between handling the situation in an organised manner and being confused and in chaos.
It is key to get the calculations right to prevent major losses of life when flood does happen, as floods tend to happen very fast. Make sure you have a well-thought out flood plan in place before an actual flood watch or warning. When other family members, including children, are involved in organising the plan, there is a greater possibility that everyone will remember what they need to do in a flood situation, and family members can remain calm in the midst of the emergency. The Environment Agencys Floodline (0845 988 1188) is a valuable resource for organising your flood plan, but do not wait until an actual emergency to give them a ring.
Maintain a supply of protective equipment, such as plastic airbrick covers, sandbags, and floodboards to stop flood water from entering your property. It is necessary to buy these supplies before a flood warning, as they will likely be in short supply or unavailable at that time. Taking measures such as using rugs instead of fitted carpets on your ground floor, raising electrical sockets to 1.5 metres above the ground floor, placing heating or ventilation equipment on the upper level, and fitting drains and water inlet pipes with non-return valves are recommended if you have the time and money.
You must make sure your insurance policy will cover your needs in the event of a flood. Read your policy carefully to determine if your home, building and grounds have adequate coverage, and note the monetary limits for repairs, item replacement policies, and value estimates for your possessions. Talk to your insurance provider if you have questions. If possible, permanently move items of great personal value, such as photographs, heirlooms, and family videos from the ground floor. Although these can be included in your insurance coverage, they can never be replaced.
When floodwaters are approaching, turn off the main supplies of water, gas, and electricity to keep your home or business safe. If you are unsure how to do this, ask your supplier to show you how it is done, and then instruct your family or co-workers. For quick location of the switches and taps for the main, mark them with a colourful sticker or other identification.
Essentials such as bottled water, non-perishable foods, a torch with extra batteries, first aid kit, battery radio, and waterproof clothing and blankets should be kept in a central location. This flood kit should also contain a list of contact numbers for family members, neighbours, your insurance company, physicians, and your suppliers of water, electricity, and gas.
This page has been written with contributions from qualified plumbers from Oxfordshire and heating engineers from Marylebone. Several of the company's plumbing and heating engineers from Surrey have worked on similar issues as well as some of our Gas Safe engineers from Holland Park and our Kingston Upon Thames experienced plumbers.
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