With the weather being rather unpredictable lately, how many of you actually know what precautions to take if you find yourself caught up in a flood?

Whether it is your house, business or even just your town that has flooded, these tips and tricks will help you understand what you should do when or before disaster strikes.

What should you do when there is a flood warning in your area?

  • Pack an emergency bag

If you are located near a river or open water, then according to Gov.uk, it is best to pack a supply bag just incase. This should include medicine, a change of clothes, money, charging devices and if you have any pets, supplies for those. The bag doesn’t have to be big but should include all the essential items which are important to you and your family in a time of crisis.

  •  Listen to alerts

Many radio stations and weather forecast channels will keep up to date with the latest information so it’s always best to keep a listen out to see if anything changes.

  • Be vigilant

Be ready to leave your home/job if you have to – there’s nothing worse than being caught out. Seek alternative routes and be ready to re-arrange plans if you have to.

Flood alerts

Flood alerts can change from day to day, so keeping an eye on these is extremely important just in case they change. There are three main warnings; flood alerts which suggest flooding is possible, flood warnings which imply flooding is expected and finally, severe, which is a danger to life. Click here if you want to know more information on these different warnings.

What to do in a flood

The most important thing is to STAY SAFE. In a flood this could possibly be hard but these next few pointers should educate you on what to do to keep yourself and your family safe if you ever find yourself in danger.

  • Turn off the electricity to prevent electrocutions. You should turn the gas and water off too.
  • If water starts gushing in, move valuables to a higher point (upstairs) and most importantly get yourself to a higher ground to avoid the danger. Also help family and pets to safety if needs be.
  • If told to do so, evacuate.
  • Stay off bridges because fast-moving water can wash them away and endanger you.
  • Do not lock yourself in attics in case of being trapped; go to the roof if possible.
  • If you are in danger and have access to a mobile device, ring for help.
  • Try not to wade through flood water because it may be contaminated and could be dangerous.

Are you allowed to drive in a flood?

Driving in flood water can be extremely dangerous, especially if the water levels are rising so it is important to be careful. It is recommend that you should not drive because at least 30cm of water is enough to sweep your vehicle away so it can be life threatening.

It is also suggested if it is urgent or you are already out, it is important to drive along recommended routes and not disaster areas because if you need help, you want to be easy to find. Even check road closures and traffic updates before you set off just incase you are recommended another route due to flooding.

More information can be found here.

Other recommendations:

  • Make sure you have enough petrol, just in case you have to take a de-tor.
  • Be vigilant and aware that roads may be dangerous so drive carefully and slowly.
  • Try not to drive at night since vision isn’t as good as in the day.
  • If you car stalls, it is safer to abandon it.
  • If water rises whilst you are in your car, leave it and move to a higher ground.
  • However, if you are trapped in your car in moving water, it is safer to stay inside. But if water is coming in, try to get up on the roof.
  • If you can avoid driving, it is safer to do so.

Who can help me if I have any problems?

If you find yourself in danger, make sure you ring the emergency services. Just like in any crisis, you should call 999 if you need help. The emergency services will also put out warnings if conditions worsen so make sure you pay attention to these as they will instruct you.

The Floodline is a 24 hour service. Information can be found here.

What do I need to help me with a flood?

Sandbags are used to block doorways and other openings to prevent water getting in as they soak up water and they are rather cheap to maintain. However, during a flood, there may be a limited stock but you can buy unfilled sand bags and sand from most DIY chains or builders merchants.

Dehumidifiers are also useful if your house has been flooded as they remove moisture and damp from the air so will help to dry rooms out.

The town of Belper was hit by a serious flood back in November and many were left devastated by the impact.

If you want to read about the community group which was set up to help those affected, click here.

 

More information can be found on the GOV.UK website, but the most important piece of information is to stay SAFE and don’t do anything that could put you or your family at risk!