Help for those affected by flooding
Following a night of torrential rain and strong winds, there are six flood warnings still in place across Dorset today with ninety across the country in total. Although a dry day is predicted for today, a yellow weather warning is in place for the weekend with further heavy rain set to return.
Whether your home or your business is at risk, Steven Callen, commercial insurance specialist from Poole-based insurance broker Alan & Thomas Insurance Group, has the following advice for those already affected or at the risk of flooding over the next few days in our region:
- Be prepared to evacuate your property and think about where you can go for safety – will the route be passable?
- Know how to turn off your gas, electricity and water mains supplies
- Prepare a flood kit of essential items such as a broom, spade, mop and bucket; domestic detergent and disinfectant; rubber boots, gloves and protective clothing; waterproof torch and radio; bottled water for drinking.
- Agree where you will go and how to contact friends and family
- Think about what items you can move to a safe place for later and what are essential items for you to have now
- Create a list of important numbers including Floodline 0845 988 1188
- You can sign up for Floodline Warnings Direct by calling Floodline on 0845 988 1188 or by visiting the Environment Agency website.
Advice during a flood
- Safety comes first! Think about evacuation before it is too late to move. Make sure you follow any advice or instructions provided by the emergency services.
- If floodwater is about to enter your building, turn off the gas, electricity and water supplies if it is safe to do so. DO NOT touch sources of electricity when standing in flood water.
- Gas and electricity supplies should remain switched off until a qualified professional has checked the system thoroughly. Wiring, appliances and pipe-work should also be inspected for safety and efficiency.
- Keep listening to local radio for updates or call Floodline on 0845 988 1188
- Move irreplaceable personal or sentimental items, such as photographs – as well as portable items – to an upper storey or higher location in your property to prevent loss or damage.
- Also check any outbuildings to see if any items can be moved.
- If possible, raise ground floor furniture on blocks or bricks to minimise the risk of damage.
- Report your claim to your broker or insurer
Advice after the flood
- Ensure you report your claim to your broker, who should have access to a wide range of specialists who can assist with the drying out and clean up of your property and also the necessary repairs or replacement.
- If there is any chance that electrical sockets have come into contact with water, switch off the electricity at the mains.
- If your electricity is switched off following an incident, make sure that a qualified electrician checks the electrical installation before it is switched back on.
- If your gas has to be turned off, make sure that a GasSafe registered tradesperson checks the gas supply before the gas is switched back on.
- Do not throw away any items until a loss adjuster tell you it is OK to do so.
- Make a list of any damaged items that you need to throw away before you dispose of them. Take a note of make and model numbers, and take photographs of any damage if you have a camera to hand.
- Wear appropriate clothing and gloves when handling anything that has been contaminated by flood waters. Remember floodwater often contains sewage, so take sensible hygiene precautions.
- Carry out any emergency repairs to protect your property from further losses. If you're unsure whether the cost of repair is covered under your insurance, speak to your broker or insurer.