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Flood Check List: Pre and Post Action (PART1)

Earlier this year the UK was rocked by 100mph winds, torrential downpours and widespread flooding. Areas including the likes of Sussex, Surrey and Kent were among the worst affected; taking considerable damage to their respected infrastructures, roads and properties. The latter half of last year saw coastal areas being pummelled by huge waves, heavy winds and high water levels.

The sheer extent of the damage caused in these areas exceeded many residence expectations; some were very unfortunate losing their homes or livelihoods. But what can be done to turn the tides or at least soften the blow? What measures can be implemented to help protect things that matter to us the most?

In this article the Relko Group (industry specialist in fire and flood restoration) are here to give you informative advice in relation to floods in what we have dubbed our "Flood Check List: Pre and Post Equipment."

Flood Check list

This check list will help to identify ways in which you can protect your home and property in the likelihood of a flood both before and after a flood has occurred. Even if your particular area isn't necessarily at risk of flooding, it is worthwhile knowing how to act should the unthinkable happen.

Pre Action

Taking a proactive approach to flooding could be the difference between losing your shed and losing your home.

To plan for a flood it is a good idea to check whether you're at risk from local rivers, reservoirs or even the sea. The Environment Agency has a site dedicated flood risk assessment which can be accessed here.

‘River flooding happens when a river cannot cope with the amount of water draining into it from the surrounding land. Sea flooding happens when there are high tides and stormy conditions ‘- The Environment Agency.

Being flood aware means you're able to take advantage of the help and assistance available to you, your home, business or property in ample time. There are a number of public and private organisations who specialise in predicting and protecting people in the result of flooding.

To get the best help available we must first be aware of the types of flooding that can occur, below you will see the different variations of flood types and a brief description to follow (Courtesy of SEPA):

River flooding: this occurs when a river cannot cope with the amount of water entering it.

Coastal flooding: weather and tidal conditions can increase sea levels.  The frequency and severity of this type of flooding is predicted to rise.

But there are other types of flooding where a good flood prevention plan can help you protect your home or business.

Surface water flooding: this happens when there is heavy rainfall on ground that is already saturated, or on paved areas where drainage is poor.

Groundwater flooding: when rainfall causes the water that is naturally stored underground to rise to the surface it can flood low-lying areas.

Drain and sewer flooding: this can occur during heavy rain when drains have become blocked or full.

Broken water mains flooding: burst water mains can cause flooding underground and to basements of properties.

Now that we have a better idea of the types of flooding, we can now look at the ways we be best prepared on a more personal level.

Insurance - A comprehensive home, business or property insurance policy is a must have especially if you live in a high risk area. Good insurance companies will assist in the restoration of your home should a flood occur in relative speedy and hassle-free manner. That being said, check your insurance policy thoroughly to see in what eventualities your policy will cover you. It may actual-ly be worth changing insurance providers if you find it to be lacking in key areas.

Improving your Property's Floods Protection - Getting in contact with building surveyors, architects or independent professional for advice on permanent flood protection measures.

Business plan - Business owners have an even greater level of responsibility when it comes to floods. Protecting your business is indeed a high priority, but the axiomatic truth is that your staffs are even higher. With human lives taking precedent, company owners need to monitor and (if needs must) enhance their maintenance facilities to ensure employee safety.

Practical Pre Action

Protecting your property isn't just simply a case of calling your insurer and having them wave their magic money wand. It takes a conscious effort from all parties involved to ensure that they do their utmost to limit the damage and the cost. Below you we have outlined a number of practical solutions to help keep your home, property and business a float.

Flood Protection Products - are a great way of reducing the damage caused by flooding. Nowadays you can find a great range of flood protection products; which act as barriers to water entry points such as windows, doors and airbrick covers.

  • Flood Barriers - Usually made from plastic or metal, flood barriers can be installed across your doorway or window prior to the flood occurring. The boards usually slide into a frame that has been pre-attached to the door or window frame to provide a watertight seal from flood waters.
  • Sandbags - Readily available from DIY stores; sandbags act as a dam-like structure bolstering your homes defences from sewage.

These are just two of the many ways you can protect your home from flooding.

We have now explored the pre action portion of the Relko flood check list. In part 2 we will delve into the post-flood part, looking at how we can effectively and efficiently restore a sense of order following a flood.

In the meantime why not check out our other articles relating to flooding:

Repairing and Preventing Flood Damage

The Three Part Flood Plan