What to do before, during and after a flood

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1 Suffok Food Risk Management Partnership What to do before, during and after a food Practica advice on what to do to protect yoursef and your property "Over 5.5 miion properties in Engand and Waes are at risk of fooding from rivers, the sea or surface water. That's one in six which means there is a high chance one of these properties is your home or business." Nationa Food Forum

2 We are the Suffok Food Risk Management Partnership, comprising Suffok county and district councis, the Environment Agency, Angian Water, the Suffok Joint Emergency Panning Unit and other food management agencies. Suffok County Counci's roe is to ead this partnership, make you aware of the risk of surface water or 'fash' fooding and co-ordinate the various organisations invoved in deaing with this type of fooding. The Environment Agency's roe is to make peope aware of fooding from rivers and the sea, provide food warning for these sources and to buid and maintain food defences. We have worked in partnership to produce this eafet which contains usefu information to hep you reduce the effects of fooding on you and your property. Pubished by: Suffok County Counci Endeavour House 8 Russe Road Ipswich IP1 2BX Te: Emai: September

3 How do you know if you are at risk of fooding? The Environment Agency can advise you if you are at risk of fooding from rivers or the sea, and can provide a free 24-hour food warning service. To check the risk where you ive, go to the Environment Agency website, or phone Foodine on However The ikeihood of surface water or fash fooding is harder to predict. This happens where drainage systems are unabe to cope with heavy spes of rainfa. Suffok County Counci can suppy some information to hep you understand the risk in your area, but it is not possibe to predict accuratey where heavy rain is ikey to fa and thus we cannot give you a direct warning for this type of fooding. Loca weather forecasts wi give you the best indication of whether surface water fooding is ikey or not. To hep you understand the risk of fooding in your area, make sure you understand the different types of fooding that may affect you. If in doubt, ask Suffok County Counci or the Environment Agency. Food warnings The Environment Agency provides a free food warning service to many areas at risk of fooding from rivers and the sea. Ca Foodine on or visit the Environment Agency website to find out if you can sign up for the free 24 hour Foodine Warnings Direct service, get practica advice on what to do before, during and after fooding and to get a Quickdia number for easy access to information on fooding in your area. You can seect to receive these warnings by phone, text, emai, fax or pager. Make sure that you use a combination of methods, to ensure that you receive the warning at home, work or on the move. Severe Weather Warnings from the Met Office You can aso get warnings about severe weather from oca weather, news and trave buetins on TV and the oca radio stations and the Met Office website. These wi be especiay usefu in areas at risk of surface water. 3

4 Locaised fooding incidents Heavy rain storms can resut in ocaised fooding affecting just a few properties and we need to know about it. If this is the case, pease give us detais by competing the form on (ook under Investigating Fooding ). Your report wi hep us to understand which areas are most at risk from this type of fooding and target our activities to hep you accordingy. And remember even if water does not enter your home, you coud be affected by oca fooding. You may ose power if nearby substations are fooded and become trapped as roads around you become impassabe. 4

5 1. Prepare for fooding Start preparing today before a food happens WHAT TO DO BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER A FLOOD Use this checkist as your persona food pan: a) Know who to contact and how Agree where you wi go and how to contact each other. Keep a ist of a your important contacts to hand. b) Think about who you coud ask for hep / who you coud offer to hep, particuary vunerabe neighbours or reatives, in a food. c) Think about what you can move now Don t wait for a food. Keep important documents, and irrepaceabe items of persona vaue in a safe pace. d) Think about what you woud want to move to safety during a food Pets (evacuation centres wi aow pets under contro) Cars Eectrica equipment unpug and move computers and TV Garden pot pants, furniture, and garden equipment from sheds e) Check your insurance cover Check your buidings and contents insurance poicy. Confirm you are covered for fooding. Find out if the poicy repaces new for od, and if it has a imit on repairs. Don t underestimate the vaue of your contents. f) Know how to turn off your gas, eectricity and water mains suppies Mark taps or switches with stickers to hep you remember. If unsure ask the next time you have the meter checked g) Prepare a food kit of essentia items and keep it handy. It shoud incude Copies of your home insurance documents. A torch with spare batteries or a wind-up torch. A wind-up or battery radio. Warm, waterproof cothing and bankets. A first aid kit and prescription medication. Botted water and non-perishabe foods. Baby food and baby care items Your ist of usefu contact numbers pus Z-cards (SOS Cards) avaiabe from a counci offices and major ibraries in Suffok. If in the event of eaving your home don t forget spare keys and your waet/purse/ any daiy medication (inhaer, etc) 5

6 Your usefu contact numbers Fi this out and keep this eafet and keep it with your food kit Don't forget to charge up your mobie phone! Environment Agency Foodine Quickdia number (you wi receive this in the phone/text message you receive with your food warning) Loca authority emergency hepine Insurance 24-hour number and poicy number Loca radio for news aerts & weather updates Who can hep? Famiy / neighbours/ carer Work phone numbers Schoo/ Nursery Loca poice station Vet/kenne/cattery Gas suppier and meter number Eectricity suppier and meter number Water suppier and meter number Eectrician Pumber Buider 6

7 Food and Weather Warnings Know what they mean and what you need to do Environment Agency warnings for river and sea fooding: Sign up for the direct warning service on the Environment Agency website or contact Foodine on FLOOD ALERT FLOOD WARNING SEVERE FLOOD WARNING Warning No Longer In Force This means Fooding is possibe. Be prepared. The Environment Agency issues Food Aerts for specific ocations that are at risk of fooding. It wi indicate that fooding is possibe and that peope shoud make some ow impact preparations (e.g. move sma vauabe items upstairs, check trave pans) and remain vigiant. This means that Fooding is expected. Immediate action required. Food Warnings are generay targeted at specific communities that are at risk from fooding. Some Food Warnings may appy to stretches of coast and river. It wi indicate that fooding is expected and that peope shoud take more direct impact actions e.g. move beongings upstairs, insta food protection products. This means Severe Fooding. Danger to ife. Anyone who receives a Food Warning wi receive a Severe Food Warning if conditions are met. It wi be used in extreme circumstances to te peope that fooding is posing significant risk to ife or significant disruption to communities which coud aso cause risk to ife. Depending on the circumstances it woud indicate that peope shoud evacuate the area or take sheter within safe buidings. The Environment Agency issues a message to te peope that the food threat has passed and incudes usefu advice on what to do next. 7

8 Severe weather warnings: Weather warnings are issued by the Met Office and reayed via TV, weather forecast updates, radio stations and on the website. They are coour coded depending on a combination of the ikeihood of the heavy rainfa happening and the resuting surface water fooding it may cause. Severe weather aerts (yeow) are issued more than 24 hours ahead. No severe weather Be aware Be prepared Take action Severe weather warnings (orange/red) are issued no more than 24 hours ahead (due to the unpredictabiity of weather systems) and are updated reguary. BE AWARE This means there is a risk of ocaised fooding of ow ying fieds, recreationa and and car parks; fooding of a sma number of homes and businesses; water on roads maybe eading to difficut driving conditions especiay in known troube spots; oca disruption to trave. BE PREPARED This means that some fooding of homes, businesses and transport inks is possibe; disruption to trave is ikey; disruption to gas, eectricity, water suppies and teecoms is possibe and some evacuations may be required. Be prepared to protect yoursef and your property. TAKE ACTION If you see this weather warning, expect widespread fooding of property; severe disruption to trave. oss of gas, eectricity, water suppies and significant disruption to communities. Evacuation shoud be expected. There is a significant risk to ife. Take action to protect yoursef and foow the advice of the emergency services. If there has been an aert in your area, keep monitoring oca weather forecasts or the Met Office website. Check back a page and make sure you understand the difference between a Severe Weather Warning and a Food Warning from the Environment Agency. 8

9 Steps to protect your property There are many things you can do to your property that wi hep to keep the food water out and make it easier and cheaper to cean up after a food. Food protection equipment can hep stop food water getting into your property. Foow manufacturer instructions to put these in pace when you get a food warning. Temporary food protection equipment Traditionay, sandbags were used to try to keep food water from entering properties. They cannot be stored in advance as they degrade, and foowing a food maybe difficut to dispose of due to contamination by sewage in the water. They need costy speciaist remova. A much better option is to use temporary food protection for your home. You can get more information about food protection equipment on the Environment Agency or Nationa Food Forum websites. Some exampes are isted beow: Foodboards: These fix to frames around windows and doors. They can be washed, stored and used again. Airbrick covers: These can stop food water coming in through your airbricks. Non-return vaves which can be fitted on drains, water inet and outet pipes. If you don't have non-return vaves fitted, try to disconnect equipment that uses water (ike washing machine, dishwater) and weigh down toiet seats and pugs in sinks/baths with heavy objects to prevent water coming into your house this way. Put temporary food protection measures in pace as soon as you get a food warning or before if you aren't ikey to be a home at the time. Aways remove food protection equipment once the food water has gone. This wi hep your property dry out. Reducing the effect of food water on your property If your property is prone to reguar fooding there are a number of improvements you can make so it wi be easier and cheaper to cean up after a food. These incude: ay ties and use rugs on the ground foor rather than fitted carpets raise the eve of eectrica sockets to at east 1.5m above ground foor eve use ime paster instead of gypsum on was repace wooden window frames and doors with synthetic ones. See the Environment Agency website for more information. 9

10 2. What to do to stay safe in a food In the event of a food focus on the safety of you and your famiy Ca 999 if anyone is in danger or requires urgent rescue In norma circumstances it is not Suffok Fire & Rescue Service poicy to pump out fooded premises Be sure you know what to do when you receive a food warning. Ca Foodine on if you need information. Cooperate with the emergency services if they te you to evacuate your home. Be prepared to act quicky and get yoursef to safety. What to do in an emergency Foow these simpe steps to stay safe: Check in with other peope in your househod if they are not at home make sure they are somewhere safe. Gather essentia items together either upstairs or in a high pace. Fi jugs and saucepans with cean water. Move your famiy and pets upstairs, or to a high pace with a means of escape. Turn off gas, eectricity and water suppies when food water is about to enter your home if safe to do so. DO NOT touch sources of eectricity when standing in food water. Keep istening to oca radio for updates or ca Foodine on Check on vunerabe neighbours or reatives, if it is safe to do so. Food water can rise quicky, stay cam and reassure those around you. Be carefu using aternative heating, cooking or ighting equipment if power suppies fai candes and portabe gas equipment can cause fires if not propery used. Remember, food waters may resut in fire crews being deayed. 10

11 Important! Food water is dangerous Six inches of fast-fowing water can knock over an adut and two feet of water can move a car. Avoid waking, cycing or driving through food water there maybe hidden objects or open manhoes under the water. Keep chidren and vunerabe peope away from it. Wash your hands thoroughy if you touch it it maybe contaminated with sewage. If you take unnecessary risks, ike driving aong a fooded road when you don't know how deep it is and getting stuck, you add to the burden on the emergency services and may put other ives at risk. 11

12 3. Recovering from a food First steps If you have been evacuated from your home, don't return unti you are tod it is safe to do so by the poice or emergency services. Take care as there may be hidden dangers in the food water ike sharp objects, raised manhoe covers and poution. Food water coud have caused structura damage to your property. If it is safe to do so, take pictures of the damage inside your house. Ceaning up There are a number of things to be aware of when cearing up after a food: Food water can contain sewage, chemicas and anima waste. Aways wear waterproof outerwear, incuding goves and weington boots. You can cean and disinfect your property using ordinary househod products. If your eectricity suppy is not aready switched off at the mains, get a quaified person to do this. DO NOT touch sources of eectricity when standing in food water. Before using any eectrica appiances at home, get them checked by a professiona eectrician or gas pumber incuding heating systems. You can get water out of your property using a pump and generator. Position the generator outside in the open air as generators produce carbon monoxide fumes which can ki. Do not pump out water unti water eves outside your property are ower than inside. This reduces the risk of structura damage. Shove mud away eveny from both sides of a wa as this stops pressure buiding up on one side. A garden hose is usefu for washing down. DO NOT use high-pressure hoses as they bast contaminated matter into the air. Make sure that you protect your eyes with safety gasses as food water contain harmfu products. If you are drying your property naturay, keep doors and windows open as much as possibe. If using dehumidifiers, cose externa doors and windows. If you have gas or oi centra heating and it has been checked by an engineer, turn it on. Keep the thermostat between degrees centigrade for steady drying. 12

13 Loca councis wi usuay provide skips and extra rubbish coections for items that your insurance company has agreed you can throw away. Make sure to discard a food items that have come into contact with food water. DO NOT eat any produce from aotments affected by food water throw it away. Consut the Environment Agency's Fooding in Gardens booket. Making an insurance caim In amost a cases the insurance company wi send a oss adjuster to ook at your property. They wi confirm what repairs and repacements are needed and covered by your poicy. If you rent your property, contact your andord and your contents insurance company as soon as possibe. If you do not have insurance, your oca district counci may be abe to provide information on hardship grants or charities that may be abe to hep you after a food. If fooding has caused damage to arge parts of the country, you may have to wait for a oss adjuster to visit you. Ask the insurance company How ong it wi be before the oss adjuster visits. If you are to cean your property or if they wi get a company to do it for you. Aways make your own record of food damage Mark on the wa the height the food water got to. Photograph or video your damaged property. List the damage to your property and beongings. Things to hep with your insurance caim Confirm the insurance company wi pay for any service or equipment you need. Make a note of a teephone cas. Record the date, name and what was agreed. deaing with an insurance caim. Keep copies of a etters, emais and faxes you send and receive. Keep receipts. Don t throw anything away unti tod (except ruined food) the insurance company may ony offer to cean and repair something, not repace it. As you pan your property repairs, you might want to think about ways to protect it from future fooding. 13

14 Important! Aways use reputabe buiding contractors. Beware bogus trade peope caing door-to-door. Aways check references and do not pay in advance. Food repairs can take weeks or months to compete, especiay if there has been widespread fooding and buiders are scarce. It takes time to dry out a property and some buidings may have to be gutted before repairs can start. If this is the case, ask your insurance company or andord if they wi provide you with temporary accommodation. 14

15 Usefu information Environment Agency For information on surface water risk in Suffok Suffok County Counci Website: Emai: For weather and trave information contact Met Office Website: For genera insurance queries The Association of British Insurers Website: For food products and services Nationa Food Forum (Bue Pages) Website: Suffok Joint Emergency Panning Unit Website: Emai: British Red Cross Website: Fire safety advice Website: prevention-community-fire-safety/guidance/fire-safety-information-eafets/

16 If you need hep to understand this information in another anguage pease ca Portuguese Poish Bengai Kurdish Chinese Farsi If you woud ike this information in another format, incuding audio or arge print, pease ca Design & Print. Phone: ESE

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