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Flooding help - during a flood

Flooding presents a number of risks to health, drowning being the most obvious. Serious injury can be caused by falling into fast flowing water or from hidden dangers under the water. The stress of being flooded and cleaning up can have an impact on mental health and wellbeing.

If you think your home is at risk from flooding please telephone the Floodline on 0845 988 1188 who can give you up to date information on flood risk in your area. You can also find further information from the Environment Agency website.

  • Listen to local radio and Environment Agency Floodline bulletins (0845 988 1188) for up-to-date information on the flooding situation in your area
  • Collect personal belongings, including insurance and bank details, and essential telephone numbers together, and keep them in a waterproof bag;
  • Check on your neighbours - others around you may be less mobile.
  • If safe to do so, move people, pets and valuable belongings to a safe place - upstairs if possible.
  • Be prepared to turn off essential supplies - gas, electricity and water - at the mains.
  • Check your car and move it to high ground if safe to do so.
  • Make sure you have warm clothes, a First Aid Kit, any prescribed medication, food, drink, a torch plus spare batteries and a battery or clockwork powered radio.
  • If you think you should be trying to protect your property with sandbags, view where sandbags can be obtained.

If you have been flooded

  • You should contact your insurer as soon as possible after a property has been damaged. Most insurers have a 24-hour helpline. Claims staff will be able to give advice on the actions you need to take in certain circumstances, and may be able to give you the go-ahead for repair work to be commenced.
  • If you have to leave your house during the flood and subsequent repair, alternative accommodation must be reasonable and in keeping with your normal lifestyle. You should always obtain your insurer's approval before incurring any costs.
  • Once the flood waters have receded you should remove mud, clean and disinfect, and dry out your property. Where possible, you should seek professional advice as to how walls, furniture and carpets should be cleaned and dried out before any work is undertaken.
  • It is a good idea to take photographs of the damage. Any carpets, furniture or other goods that have been removed from your home should be retained until your insurer has agreed that they can be disposed of. If it is not possible to store or retain goods, every effort should be made to contact your insurer or their representative (loss adjuster) to obtain their agreement to the disposal of goods.
  • We will also collect any freezer contents spoilt by the floods, use the contact details above.

Further details about how to deal with a flood claim are available on the ABI's website

Flood recovery - Insurance advice

  • Claims can be made directly and free of charge to your insurer. They are regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) ) and they have to handle your claim fairly;
  • Free, independent advice is available face-to-face and by telephone from the Citizen's Advice Service;
  • The FSA and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) are also useful places to turn to for further information on Insurance matters;
  • You should think carefully before enlisting a third party's help in progressing your insurance claim;
  • If you do decide to hire a third party - make sure you check how much it will cost you first as they may charge a share of any sum paid out by the insurer. You should also check that they are regulated by the FSA or are an exempt professional firm such as a law firm.

This page was last updated: 9 August 2017

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