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Surface water flooding

After a flash flood event

  • make your safety a priority
  • do not touch sources of electricity if you are standing in water
  • do not turn on gas or electricity if they may have got wet - only turn them on when they have been checked by a qualified engineer
  • ensure you inform your insurance company before you do anything to your flooded property or before you start throwing things away (if you do not it may invalidate any future claim for a flooding incident)i
    • if you are a tenant, call your landlord

Here are some things to ask your insurer:

  • who are they going to send and what will they do?

  • when will they visit? Is there anything that you can do yourself before they arrive?

  • will they provide temporary accommodation?

  • is there anything you need to arrange yourself?

  • when they are making repairs, will they make your home more resilient, such as fitting non return valves to drains and water inlet pipes?

  • take lots of photos for insurance purposes

  • make a list of everything that has been damaged

  • take meter readings of gas and electricity

  • keep a notebook with a record of all conversations and communications with your insurance, contractors and consultants.
  • keep receipts of any works you commission yourself
  • if you do need to move to temporary accommodation make sure your insurance company know how to contact you
  • gather valuable items not touched by floodwater and ask family or friends to look after them
  • ensure good ventilation if using portable indoor heating appliances to dry out indoor spaces - do not use petrol or diesel generators or other similar fuel-driven equipment indoors, the exhaust gases contain carbon monoxide which can kill
  • if you are drying your property naturally, keep doors and windows open as much as possible - if using dehumidifiers, close external doors and windows
  • when cleaning up, cover up any cuts or wounds, wear protective clothing (rubber gloves) and be sure to thoroughly wash your hands afterwards - if there is no clean water, use wet wipes or hand sanitising gel
  • clean all hard surfaces (such as walls and floors) with hot water and detergent - hard surfaces contaminated by sewage need to be cleaned and disinfected
  • do not eat food that may have come into contact with flood water
  • do not eat fresh food from the fridge or freezer if electricity has been turned off for more than 4 hours
  • if you notice a change in your tap water quality, such as change in the colour, taste or smell, phone your water company - if you are on a private water supply, use bottled water or boil water until you are confident that your water supply is back to normal
  • always use reputable building contractors, beware of bogus trade people calling door to door - always check references and do not pay in advance
  • report any flooding to your property to the Flood and Water Management Team at Norfolk County Council (this is not for emergencies)
  • flooding is stressful, it is normal to feel anxious or upset - take care of yourself and family, and check on elderly and vulnerable neighbours
Last modified on 15 November 2023

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