What to do in a flood

My home or business has flooded or is at risk of flooding. What should I do?

  • Floods can kill. Don't try to walk through flooded areas. Even shallow water moving fast can sweep you off your feet. There may be hidden dangers such as open drains, damaged road surfaces, submerged debris or deep channels - these can cause serious injuries or even death.
  • Don't attempt to drive through floodwater. Two feet of water will float your car, the water is often deeper than it looks and may be moving quite fast. Manhole covers may have come off and there may be other hazards you can't see. Your vehicle may be swept away or you may become stranded.
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  • Never try to swim through fast flowing water - you may get swept away or be struck by an object in the water.
  • Avoid contact with floodwater - it may be contaminated with sewage and chemicals. Wash your hands immediately if you do come into contact with floodwater.
  • Also do not let your children play in flood water.
  • Keep an eye on weather reports on local television or radio news channels. The council and other agencies involved in dealing with the flooding will issue regular updates on their websites and on local news channels to advise people on the situation and that they should do.
  • Follow any advice you are given by emergency services at the scene.

Only call emergency services, 999, for immediate assistance if there is a risk to life or a risk of serious property/environmental damage.

Last reviewed: 07 - 01 - 2016

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