Emergency Planning

After flooding

After a flood, the following help and advice may help you get back to normal as quickly as possible. When floodwater recedes, it may leave a muddy deposit, as well as the distress of clearing up there may be structural damage to your property.

  • Remove dirty water and silt from the property including the space under the ground floor if you have wooden floors. This space may need pumping out. A stream in Faringdon with sandbags
  • Wash down all hard surfaces with hot soapy water.
  • Use a domestic disinfectant (following manufacturers' direction as to concentrations) to wash over all hard surfaces after cleaning.
  • Clothing, bedding and other soft/fabric articles including children's toys etc should be laundered at the highest temperature as indicated on manufacturers' instructions.
  • Other soft furnishings that have been contaminated and cannot be put in a washing machine will have to be professionally cleaned or if this is not possible may have to be disposed of.
  • Dispose of all food affected by the flood water.
  • It may be necessary to contact utility suppliers to reconnect supplies.
  • Open doors and windows to ventilate your home. It takes a brick about 25mm/an inch a month to dry out. Remember to unblock your airbricks and doorways, but take care to ensure your house is secure against intruders.
  • Watch out for any broken glass or nails while you are cleaning up.
  • Wash taps and run the water for a few minutes before use. Mains tap water should not be contaminated but check with your local water company if you're concerned.
  • Seek professional advice if your property is damaged; your insurance company may be able to arrange this for you.
  • After the flooding, thoroughly disinfect and dry affected household items and follow Health Protection Agency advice

How To Cope After A Flood - Some Dos & Don'ts

Do!

  • Call your insurance company. Tell them what has happened.
  • Check the Yellow Pages under Flood Damage for suppliers of cleaning materials or equipment to dry out your property.
  • Contact the gas, electricity and water companies. You'll need to have your supplies checked before you turn them back on. find their numbers on the back of a recent bill or in the phone book.
  • Open the door and windows to ventilate your home. It takes a brick about 25mm/an inch a month to dry out. Remember to unblock your airbricks and doorways, but take care to ensure your house is secure against intruders.
  • Watch out for any broken glass or nails while you are cleaning up.
  • Wash taps and run the water for a few minutes before use. Mains tap water should not be contaminated but check with your local water company if you're concerned.

Don't!

  • Turn on any electrical equipment until you are sure it has dried out.
  • Trust bogus traders. With so much damage it is tempting to take the first offer that comes along. Always check references and if possible, get recommendations.
  • Panic if you can't cope. The Citizens' Advice Bureaux and other organisations may be able to help if you feel under pressure, their numbers can be found in the phone book.
  • Think it can't happen again. Restock your supplies.
  • Let young children play on affected areas until they have been cleaned down and restored to their normal condition. Children should always wash their hands after playing outdoors, especially before eating or preparing food.
  • Eat garden or allotment vegetables that have been covered by sewerage or floodwater. Although any risk is small, it is better to dispose of any contaminated produce and start again.