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How to prepare your property for flooding

Practical advice on steps you can take before, during and after a flood. These steps can help to reduce the impact of a flood on you, your family and property

Before a flood

Find out if you are at risk of flooding

In Wales, around one in six properties are at risk of flooding, and many people who live in flood risk areas, may not even realise that they do.

You can find out if your property is at risk by:

  • Phoning Floodline on 0345 988 1188

Find out if you can receive a warning

If you live or work in a flood risk area you may be able to sign up to receive free advance notice of flooding by phone, text or email with Floodline Warnings Direct Service.

Take practical actions to prepare

There are a number of steps you can take to help prepare your property for flooding. These will help to save you time and money during a flood and can also help to reduce the impact of a flood on your

Step one 

Create a personal flood plan containing important information you would need to know during a flood such as insurance policy numbers, locations of gas, electricity and water mains and contact details for people you may need to get in touch with in an emergency.

Once completed, you should keep your flood plan somewhere safe and easy to reach in a waterproof folder. 

Step two

Prepare a flood kit of essential items that you would need during a flood, or in case of evacuation.

Your flood kit should include items such as copies of insurance documents, a wind up torch and radio, warm waterproof clothing and medication. Keep your flood kit somewhere easily accessible in case of flooding or evacuation.

Step three

Survey your home to identify the ways in which floodwater may enter the property and consider ways to prevent this occurring during a flood.

For example, consider keeping sandbags and plastic sheets to hand to put in front of the entrances to your property. You could also consider purchasing flood boards as another method of prevention.

National Flood Forum - Blue Pages Directory is an independent directory of flood protection products and services.

During a flood

Practical steps to take

  • Activate your personal flood plan
  • Turn off gas, electricity and water supplies
  • Phone Floodline for the latest information for your area
  • Tune in to the local radio/TV stations for latest flooding updates
  • Move valuables, photographs and sentimental items upstairs
  • Move rugs and lightweight items of furniture upstairs
  • Throw curtains over the rail out of reach of flood water
  • To stop flood water entering your home; put plugs in sinks and weigh down with heavy objects; plug water inlet pipes with towels or cloths and disconnect any equipment that uses water, ie washing machine
  • Locate your flood kit and prepare to move your family and pets upstairs to a safe place with a means of escape
  • Try to avoid contact with flood water where possible as it may be contaminated
  • Do not leave your home or enter floodwater unless directly instructed to do so by the emergency services. Flood water can be extremely dangerous and can hide hazards

Clearing up after a flood

Flood water can contain sewage and chemicals and even though it has been diluted you should always wear waterproof gloves and clothing, wellington boots and a face mask.

  • Clean and disinfect your property using ordinary household products
  • Use a normal garden hose to wash down surfaces
  • If you are drying your property naturally, keep windows and doors open as much as possible
  • If using dehumidifiers close all windows and doors
  • Make sure that all electrics and your central heating are checked by qualified electricians and engineers before switching them back on

After a flood

What to do

  • Find out from the emergency services if it is safe to re-enter your property
  • Take care when re-entering your property as there may be hidden dangers caused by flooding such as structural damage and contamination
  • Take photos of the damage to your property
  • Contact your buildings and contents insurance companies as soon as possible and find out how long it will take for them to see you
  • Check whether they have a company that will clean your house or whether you will have to do this yourself
  • Check with them before throwing any damaged items away

Related document downloads

How to prepare for flooding-Residential Advice to help reduce the impact of a flood on you, your family and property. PDF [149.4 KB]

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