Going Green: Take preventative measures to help flooding

Take measures to help flooding. Photo: AdobeTake measures to help flooding. Photo: Adobe
Take measures to help flooding. Photo: Adobe
Storm Babet wreaked havoc recently and storm Ciaran followed in the wake and caused even more. According to the Environment Agency it caused around 1,260 homes in the UK to flood. That’s thousands of people who face a long and arduous rebuild to dry out their homes, deal with insurance companies – if they had insurance that covers floods – and rebuild their lives.

There are five million people in the UK who live in homes at risk of flooding but only around 40 percent of the people entitled to free flood warning from the government are signed up to them. A massive 25 per cent of flooding occurs in areas that are formally designated as being outside of flood risk zones too.

I posted recently on my X feed what a swollen river looks like and just how fast water can rise: https://twitter.com/ANGETERRY/status/1715295963370184910.

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It’s vital to know what to do should the worst happen; firstly, sign up to the government alert system here: https://www.gov.uk/sign-up-for-flood-warnings

Next, move valuables upstairs (if you have one) and take some food and water up there. If you don’t have bottles, fill the bath with water. You won’t be alone or without emergency help for long but having water and food will ease the worry of exactly when you might be collected.

Next turn off your electricity, gas and water. Call your insurance company immediately and make sure you take as many pictures as you can before the floods and then of the water, where it’s coming in and video if possible too if it’s safe to do so.

Whatever dried foods you have, make sure they’re out of the way of flood waters, biscuits, crisps etc and all the food that doesn’t need to be cooked to be eaten.

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Don’t go into the flood water, even if it’s ankle deep it can carry bacteria and could potentially make you unwell so if you have wellies or protective clothing, use it.

If you are asked to evacuate, your home please do so immediately. If you delay, you put yourself and emergency service workers at risk of real harm. The number one cause of deaths in floods is trying to drive through them as 20 cm of water can lift a car.

People think sandbags will protect them, but water runs through sand. Property flood equipment that has a British kite symbol, such as hydro sacks, which are around £20 each are far more effective at forming a barrier between the flood water and your home.

You can buy your own inexpensive flood kit which includes 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 will get in wherever it can, even the most minute crack. Shop around for flood defenses and read reviews or ask around – they can be expenseive so you want to make sure you’re getting something good.

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As is the adage with most things in life, prevention is better than cure but so many homes across the UK have no idea they’re at risk. You can read lots more about flood prevention and what to do here: https://onehome.org.uk/?s=flooding