Britons urged to prepare homes for floods as rain continues

Ireland: Heavy rain floods New Ross in County Wexford

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The Met Office has warned that “a short period of very heavy rain and squally winds is likely to cause some disruption” to travel and power services across the UK. Residents living in at-risk areas have been urged to prepare for possible flooding by preparing emergency kits and taking steps to secure their homes. Aviva Insurance has shared exactly how to minimise flood damage and what to do if you are affected.

How to prepare for a flood

Turn off the mains supply

Power sources are one of the most at-risk elements of the home during a flood.

To limit damage, turn off gas, electricity and water supplies at both the mains and plugs. Aviva Insurance also advised moving electrical items upstairs where possible.

Store valuables

Storing valuables carefully is another important step to take before a flood hits. For maximum protection, store items in baskets and keep them at a higher level in your home.

Make copies

The insurance experts said: “Take care of your paperwork. Keep important documents in watertight plastic bags in a high, safe place.

“Consider keeping duplicate copies of documents with family or friends or take a photo of them on a smartphone in case the originals are lost.”

Move appliance

Ground-level items aren’t the only things at risk. Aviva said: “Move everything up. If it’s safe to do so, raise heavy items like fridges up onto bricks or plinths and move furniture to a higher level or upstairs.”

If items are too heavy, move them away from walls to speed up the drying time if you are flooded. Consider rolling up rugs and storing them upstairs where possible.

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Make a flood kit

The most important thing to do during a flood is to get yourself, your family and your pets to safety as quickly as possible. Alerting neighbours is another essential step to follow before taking action.

Aviva added that making a flood kit is worthwhile if you are expecting a flood. This could include:

  • Important personal documents
  • Wind-up radio
  • Rubber gloves
  • First aid kit (including important medication)
  • List of useful numbers, such as the local council and your insurer’s emergency number
  • Torch
  • Phone charger
  • Wellies and waterproof clothing
  • Blankets

What to do if you have been flooded

If you are caught in a flood, contacting your insurer as soon as possible is essential to begin the compensation process.

Aviva insurance warned against touching any electrics in your home that could have been damaged by water and set live.

Next, make a list of your possessions and take photographs where possible. Aviva noted that this makes it easier to assess the damage and speed up your claim.

They added: “If you can try to lift any items out of standing water. If your carpets are saturated, try to raise any furniture off them onto wooden blocks this will prevent more water from soaking into your belongings and help reduce further damage.”

Keeping an eye on the weather is also essential to avoid further flooding in your home. Stay tuned into local forecasts and alerts as much as possible.

Aviva said: “Be alert to scams. Independent flood or loss assessors may get in touch with you and offer to manage your insurance claim on your behalf, but many charges a fee, which could be taken from your insurance settlement.

“Insurers have access to many local or regional tradesmen and temporary accommodation and will talk to customers about resilient repairs, which is unlikely to be the case if loss assessors are involved.”

When the flooding is over, consider what resilient repairs you can make at home. Aviva explained that many insurers will help with accessing grants for resilient repairs and they can discuss the benefits of these with you when you make a claim.

You might not think they’re necessary, but if you’ve been flooded once, you’re more likely to suffer another flood in the future.

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