Before A Flood: How To Prepare

Sitting on a roof during a flood

  1. Make sure you have adequate insurance. Flood damage is included in most buildings insurance policies but do check your home and contents are covered. Check that your policy covers damage to garages, sheds and outbuildings if you need it. Remember that many insurance policies will not cover storm or flood damage to gates, fences, hedges and garden plants. Keep details of your insurance policy and the emergency contact number somewhere safe and accessible.
  2. Prepare a flood kit: including key personal documents, flashlight, battery or wind-up radio, mobile phone, rubber gloves, waterproof clothing, first aid kit and blankets. Make a list of useful numbers you may need.
  3. Children’s Essentials: make a list of the vital items you will need. For example, milk, baby food, sterilized bottles and spoons, nappies and wipes, nappy bags, spare clothing, comforter, favorite toy or best teddy.
  4. Make sure you know where to turn off your gas, electricity and water. If you’re not sure, ask the person who checks your meter when they next visit. Mark the tap or switch with a sticker to help you remember
  5. Floodwater can contaminate foodstuffs and chemicals such as paint, garden pesticides, household cleaning products and garage oils. Similarly these can spill or leak into the floodwaters causing additional clean-up problems. Keep these materials upstairs or high up in your garage/shed.
  6. Remember; you cannot replace items of sentimental value, photographs of favorite toys. Keep them upstairs or somewhere high up in your property on a permanent basis.
  7. Around Appliances and Fixtures: Shut off water at valves if you will be away from your home for several days or longer. Inspect supply lines to sinks, washing machines, icemakers and dishwasher lines for kinks, deterioration or leaking connections. Inspect around and underneath appliances and fixtures for signs of water damage.
  8. In the Bathroom: Caulk and regrout around sinks, showers and tubs. Leaking shower pans and loose or missing tiles should be repaired quickly.
  9. Hot Water Heaters and Air Conditioners: Most water heaters last ten to fifteen years. Wet spots or rust may signal a problem. The hot water heater should be installed with a floor pan and drain. Have your air conditioner serviced annually.
  10. Be Alert! Soft spots, discolorations and mildew odors in your flooring, walls and ceilings are an indication of deterioration due to moisture. Start looking for a water leak.
  11. Outside: Clean debris from your roof, gutters and downspouts. Inspect the roof regularly and promptly repair any missing or damaged shingles. Downspouts should extend away from the house to carry water away from the foundation. Always remove garden hoses