Flooding can cause devastating damage to your property which can be incredibly expensive to repair. If you live in an area that is prone to flooding it is important that you prepare now to avoid any costly repairs at a later date.
During this post we are going to look at some top tips to help you get ready for when the next flood warnings are given.
1. Your Utilities
During any major flooding, the first step that you should take is to turn off the utilities in your home so it is important that you learn how to do so before you ever need to actually do it. This includes gas, electricity and the water supply.
You may need to do a little bit of searching around the home for these. As you may have to access the mains in the dark, it’s worth leaving a flashlight nearby along with some spare batteries. Alternatively, opt for a head torch so that you can keep your hands free to do other tasks.
2. Have an Emergency Kit Ready
If you need to evacuate the home it is a good idea to have an emergency kit ready so that you have everything that you need at hand. The last thing you want to be doing is searching round for everything at the last minute.
Each emergency kit should be specific to your own individual needs but we recommend the following items as a starting point:
- Any medications needed on a regular basis
- First aid kit
- Water and non-perishable food – remember to include a can opener if necessary
- If you have babies and children include items for them such as nappies, bedding, baby food, clothing and toys
- If you have pets include items for them such as food, bedding, medication, vet and vaccination information, appropriate carriers for smaller pets and maybe a few of their favourite toys
- Appropriate clothing for the time of year
- Warm blankets
- A flashlight and extra batteries
- Emergency contact numbers
- A battery-powered radio
3. Flood Protection
We are going to look at a few options in which you can control the flow of flood water away from the home. Whatever you choose, make sure that everyone in the home knows how to correctly use them.
Sandbags – The first and most obvious line of defense is to purchase sand bags. These are generally made from woven hessian that you fill yourself with sand and place around the bottom of the doors to your home to absorb any moisture. If you have any manhole covers outside your home I would suggest using them to weigh the manhole covers down too.
Flood bags – if you have limited space you may opt for storing flood bags as opposed to sandbags. Rather than using sand to absorb the moisture, flood bags use crystals instead. They quickly expand to fill each bag and create a barrier allowing for a fast response to rising flood water. The only downside to these kinds of bags is that they can only be used once and then need to be disposed of.
Flood barriers – These connect together, collecting and storing rising flood water to create a dense barrier. Each unit features a foam gasket base that, when put under pressure by the weight of the water, creates a seal with the ground. As the flood waters go down, they empty themselves automatically and can easily be stored away and reused.
Air brick covers – an often overlooked area where flood waters can enter your property are the air bricks. If flood warnings have been issued, these air brick covers can create a temporary seal.
Toilet seat pans – one thing that you definitely don’t want is dirty sewage water coming up through the toilets and into your home. To avoid this you should look into purchasing a toilet pan seal for your downstairs toilet.
Plug your sinks – you also want to avoid any water coming up through the sinks and the bath so always make sure that you plug them up and weigh the plugs down to avoid the pressure of the water pushing the plugs up.
4. Flood Door Panels
Flood door panels offer a more permanent solution and should be a serious consideration for anyone living in areas that are prone to flooding. You simply fix the frame to the frames of your external doors and then the panels can be easily installed to seal the door.
5. Move Belongings to Higher Ground
Anything that you don’t use very often should be stored in the attic or a higher floor of the home. This will leave you with a minimum amount of items that will need to be moved once the flood warnings are issued.
If using the attic you can keep everything organised by using shelving units, cabinets, crates, etc so that everything is within easy reach for when you need it.
If you can’t use the attic you need to keep the items as high up off the ground as possible and stored in waterproof storage containers to keep the items safe from the water.
6. Don’t Forget Your Pets
It is impossible to know where you will be when the next flood happens so you need to plan ahead to make sure that your pets are safe. This is where getting to know your neighbours can be incredibly beneficial. Whoever you choose, be it neighbour, friend or family member, they will need to know how they can contact you in the event of an emergency and they should have a key to the property so they can retrieve the pets if needed. Keep the travel carriers stored somewhere that is easily accessible and with any needed essentials close by.
The same goes for any animals that are kept outside such as rabbits or chickens. You will need to raise and secure any hutches or coops. Not only will this protect your animals from the flood water, it should stop the structures from toppling over.