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What to do in a flood

Advice on what you should do if you are experiencing flooding in your home or business. If there is danger to life, call 999 and follow advice from the emergency services.

Emergency medication

Flood advice

Evacuate if you are told to do so. If it’s safe to do so, make sure your property is locked and secure before you leave. If there is not an immediate danger to life, follow these steps:

Step 1

Get your emergency grab bag (if you have one) and put it in a safe place so it’s ready for you later. The grab bag should contain a torch, spare batteries, mobile phone(s) and chargers, warm clothes, important numbers (home insurance, etc), water, food, first aid kit, hand sanitiser, and any medicines or baby care items you may need.

Activate your emergency plan if you have one. Review and follow the plan’s checklist. If you don’t have an emergency flood plan - don’t panic just follow the steps below.

Step 2

Deploy any flood protection products you may have (flood barriers, air brick covers, etc). If you have sandbags or sandbag alternatives, place them across the access points to your property to minimise water entering your property. Further information about sandbags.

Step 3

If it’s safe to do so, and you know how to do this correctly, turn off your gas, electricity and water supplies. Never touch an electrical switch if you are standing in water.

Step 4

Move your valuables to a location above the flood waters, ideally to an upper floor of your property. Start with your most valuable and easiest to move possessions.

Step 5

If possible get yourself to a safe area away from the flooding. For most people this will be on the first floor of the property. Stay in this location until the flood waters recede and it is safe to return to the area below.

If you are in a single storey building, the best option would be to evacuate the property and stay with nearby family or friends. Wait there until the flood waters recede and it is safe to return to the property.

Keep your family and pets away from floodwater – it may contain debris, sharp objects, open manhole covers, sewage or chemicals, all of which can be hazardous to health.

Step 6

Keep up to date on the flood situation

Step 7

Maintain good hygiene standards - wash or sanitise your hands regularly - especially before handling or consuming food or drink.

It may sound obvious, but it’s worth stating you should never eat or drink anything that’s come into contact with flood water.

If you become unwell contact your GP, NHS 111, or in an emergency call 999.

Useful health links: