Flood Safety Advice
Flood Safety Advice
- Try to avoid coming into contact with flood water as it can be dangerous and may be contaminated.
- Follow the advice of the emergency services as it will be in the interests of your own safety.
- Avoid flooded drains as they can be especially dangerous as the power of the water entering them may suck you in.
- Remember that flooding problems are more dangerous at night when it is dark.
- Remember that the flow of the water may be so powerful that it could take only a few inches of water to sweep you off your feet.
- Only travel if your journey is absolutely necessary, do not drive through flood water as only two feet of water can lift and float a car.
- Put your mobile phone in a plastic bag to keep it dry and keep in touch with your friends, relatives and neighbours.
- Keep yourself informed by listening to the local radio station. The local stations will be listed in your household emergency life-saving plan.
- If you must go in the water then you should do so only with another person, in case you get into difficulties. Use a stick or pole to help to feel your way and gauge the depth of the water.
- If there is a smell of petrol or oil in flood water never light a naked flame or cigarette.
- Never go into cold flood water as it may quickly incapacitate you.
- Deep flood water can contain hidden traps such as missing manhole covers, sharp objects and fast moving objects. It is also impossible to judge the depth of the water before you enter it.
- Do not let children or pets play in or near flood water and ensure that any belongings/toys that have been in contact with flood water until they have been cleaned with disinfectant.
Household Flood Plan
Making a household flood plan can help to reduce the impact of flooding:
- Have a household emergency life-saving plan that involves everyone in your house. This will ensure everyone will know where to meet each other if you become separated and will help you to write down a list of important contact numbers and information in advance.
- Plan who will undertake important tasks such as turning off the gas if water enters your home. Electrical fittings should not be touched and the mains water supply does not need to be turned off.
- Make up an emergency kit and add items that will be useful during a flooding emergency such as rubber gloves, waterproof clothing and boots.
- Plan in advance what items you would want move to safety such as cars, pets, furniture and items in your garden. Make sure you move your treasured family possessions to safety before a flood.
After a Flood Make sure to:
- Check for structural damage to your property. If you think there is any damage or danger seek advice from your insurance company or builder.
- Have your electricity mains and all electrical equipment checked by a qualified electrician before use.
- Ventilate all areas thoroughly before you work in them, especially under floor areas and confined spaces.
- Keep an eye out for any broken glass or nails while during the clear up.
- Use circuit breakers on electrical equipment until your house dries out, even after the electrics have been checked.
- Contact the Northern Ireland Housing Executive directly on 03448 920901 if you are a NIHE tenant. They will help clean up NIHE properties and dry out and repair any flood damage.
- Wash taps and let them run for a few minutes before use. Mains tap water should not be contaminated after flooding however if you notice a change in water quality, such as a change of taste or smell or discoloured water call Waterline on 0345 7440 088
- Check all drains and sewers are clear before flushing toilets and running taps out
- Have all gas mains and gas appliances checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer before turning them on. Go to the www.gassaferegister.co.uk more information.
- Do not attempt to move heavy items such as fallen trees on your own. Remember that soft furnishings will be soaked and will be much heavier than normal. Used sandbags will also have significantly more weight than when dry.
- Make sure areas that have been flooded are cleaned before letting children or pets play on them.
- Remove any toilet waste from affected areas by shovelling it into black bags and sealing them. After the grass has grown and been cut once there should be no further risk as sunlight and soil will usually destroy harmful bacteria within a week.
- Avoid disposing of items until asked to do so by your insurer, broker or loss adjuster. Before removal, make sure you have photographed all the items.
- Do not use any petrol or diesel generators and pumps indoors as they can produce carbon monoxide which can kill. Also avoid using barbecues or camping stoves inside.
Useful Links For Flooding Advice
Directory for Agencies
Met Office Weather Advice