As Storm Arwen approaches, the Met Office is warning of a wetter winter into January and February 2022. This will almost certainly lead to flooding of homes and businesses.
Angela Terry, environmental scientist and founder of onehome.org said: “Floods can be devastating costing lives and destroying property. They are also tricky to predict. But there are steps which home and business owners and renters can take to limit the impact of rising water.
“Factors such as lower than average sea temperatures in the Pacific mean the coming few months could be milder but wetter and windier wetter than a normal British winter, leading to flooding.”
The Environment Agency estimates that 5.2 million properties in England are at risk of flooding. But the agency warns 30 per cent of those households most at risk are unprepared for flooding.
Here are TEN TIPS FOR PREPARING YOUR PROPERTY FOR FLOODS by Angela Terry
1. Check your flood risk and sign up for alerts to give you time to act.
2. If you have prior warning, move cars and people out of the way of a flood. Don’t wait until you can see rising water. Driving through rain water is the number one cause of death in flooding.
3. Put people before property. Flood waters can rise fast. Dial 999 if you concerned about risks to human life. Your instinct will be to stay and protect you property but follow the emergency services’ advice.
4. If you are at risk of flooding, create two emergency kits. One in case you are trapped in your building and one if you have to leave. Include medicines, first aid kit, food, a torch, copies of important documents, protective clothing, pet items and keys.
5. Ditch the sandbags. They are heavy, hard to dispose of and not very effective if filled with sand bought from a builder’s merchant. They just filter water. Use “hydrosacks” instead, light, recyclable domestic flood barriers.
6. You can invest in an inexpensive flood kit which includes ingenious gadgets like toilet stoppers, shower blocks, non-return valves for drains and air brick patches that prevent water coming in or surging through pipes. It’s worth remembering water can enter through brickwork and mortar. if a water entry point is not sealed, water will get in.
7. Investigate resistance measures to stop water getting into your property, for example flood-proof doors and domestic flood barriers. Research resilience measures to reduce damage if water does enter so you build back better. Look at the website Flood Guidance for information on measures like raising the plug sockets on your ground floor rooms and laying hard floors like tiles or flag stones.
8. Check your insurance. Make sure your contents are covered for storm and flood damage. This may mean specialist cover if you are in an area that has been flooded before. If you rent your home your landlord could be responsible for the actual building but you are responsible for contents.
9. Take pictures of your home now, so you have a before and after record if water enters your house, flat or business premises.
10. Don’t return home too early. Flood waters can take weeks, if not months, to recede. You can’t live in a house with no heating, drinking water or sanitation for long periods.
For more information to the OneHome.org