How to protect your home against flooding
We're well into the midst of winter, which means we're also at risk from winter storms. High winds and heavy rain can cause flash flooding which could cause serious damage to your home.
It's a good idea to make sure you're prepared, so you can reduce the impact of the damage.
Find out if you're at risk
The first thing to do is to check the area you live in. The Environment Agency's website has a guide detailing which areas are at risk over the next five days, plus any areas that flood regularly. This is particularly useful if you've moved into, or are looking to move to, a new area. You can also find out whether there are any flood warnings currently in place for your postcode.
If you register your details with Floodline you can get free flood messages for your area to your phone, email, SMS or fax.
How to prepare for an imminent flood
- Sandbags can be used to block doorways, drains and other openings. Check with your local authority to see if they have any ready, otherwise speak to your local DIY store or builders' merchants to get your own supply. You'll need at least six sandbags to keep out 20cm depth of water for a standard door opening.
- Take detailed photos of every downstairs room and its contents before any damage has occurred.
- Move what you can upstairs to safety, particularly anything of value that you want to protect. As well as expensive items, don't forget about things with great sentimental value like family photographs.
- Make sure you know how to switch off your gas, water and electricity supplies and pack an essentials kit that includes all your important documents (including insurance) and useful numbers, mobiles and chargers, emergency cash and credit cards, any medication, all your children's essentials and some basic clean clothing.
- Make a plan with the people you live with about how you will contact each other and where you will go should you get separated.
If you have more time
There are more permanent things you can do to help reduce flood damage, such as:
- Raising the height of electrical sockets to at least 1.5 metres above the ground.
- Put airtight covers over all air bricks to prevent water coming into your property.
- Replace all downstairs carpets with rugs or ceramic tiles, which are easier to clean or replace once the water has subsided.
- Install some high mounted shelves to store family photos or treasured possessions safely.
You must have both buildings and contents insurance in order to be covered financially after a flood. Make sure to check this with your insurer before any bad storms hit.
Here at Hastings Direct, we pride ourselves on offering customers quality insurance for an extremely competitive price and you can save up to 20% on our combined buildings and contents policies.
Get a home insurance quote today and see how much you could save.