Did you know that a huge 2.4 million properties are at risk of flooding from the rivers and seas in and around England and Wales. The Environmental Agency (EA) states that a further 2.8 million properties may be vulnerable to surface water flooding.
With the recent bad weather we wanted to provide you with some valuable information on how to assess the risk of flooding and how to plan and manage a flood, should it occur.
Identifying Flood Risk
You should consider the following;
- Flood history – both at the property address & the surrounding area
- Proximity to the sea, rivers, streams, canals, lakes and reservoirs etc.
- Proximity & adequacy of surface water drainage
- Whether the property is located in a low lying area
- Checking out the Environmental Agency (EA) & Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) flood maps available online. For Northern Ireland, please check with the Rivers Agency or your local authority
If your flood risk assessment indicates that the property may be at risk, a flood plan should then be drawn up to include the following:
- Important contact details including flood-line, building services, flood recovery services, suppliers and evacuation contacts for staff
- Location details of key property, protective materials and service shut-off points
- Strategies for protecting the property & assisting in its recovery
- Checklists of procedures that can be quickly be accessed by staff during a flood
- Insurance details and claims contact information
You may need to consider upgrading your property to defend it from the risks associated with flooding. So improving the walls, floors, drains and service intakes could be measures you take to ensure that your property can cope in the event of a flood. The following could help:
- Demountable, purpose-made doors and opening guards or flood boards
- Flood skirts which can be raised around the perimeter walls of the building
- Water guards for openings such as air-bricks
- Tanking of internal floors and basement walls
- Non-return valves fitted to drains, water inlets & outlet pipes
- Keep a stock of sandbags – ask your local council who may be able to supply some for you
Note: Most properties in the UK can only be protected from flood waters to a maximum height of 900mm and in some cases this may be restricted to 600mm. These levels are prescribed to prevent structural damage to properties caused by the uneven hydrostatic loads between the inner and outer walls of a building, which if not stabilised may cause the walls to collapse. In the event that flood defence solutions are required to a height greater than 900mm, advice from a Structural Engineer should be sought.
These are measures which make the fabric and areas of the building more robust and easier to clean, dry out and reinstate, in the event of flood-water entering the property:
- Replacing timber or tiled ground floors with solid or suspended concrete floors incorporating robust damp proof membranes
- Incorporating a slight fall and a sump pump to ground or basement floors to pump out any flood water entering
- Raising gas and electrical intakes, any pipes or cables and electrical sockets above likely flood levels
- Minimising the use of timber and chip board in ground floor and basement locations
- Using water resistant finishes such as lime plaster or cement render
- Raising or relocating critical equipment or any stock that may be vulnerable to another part of the property that is not at risk of flood-water
Some things to consider
You should contact your insurance broker or provider immediately after a flood and it’s important you follow their advice.
- Check the roof of your property / home on a regular basis to look out for any slipped or missing tiles, loose or cracked flashings or worn concrete
- Keep all drains and gutters clear of debris. During high rainfall, blocked gutters etc. could cause extensive water damage to your home
- Cut back any large branches (especially dead ones) which overhang your home, property or out buildings
- Back up your computer to avoid the loss of any sentimental or business material (such as family photos). Both lightning and flood damage could wipe a computer’s hard drive
- Make sure any valuables are locked safely away, preferably in a waterproof container kept on an upper floor
- Continually monitoring the Flood-line (0845 988 1188) and other weather information services for any updates
- Isolate any gas or electrical supplies
- Be aware of water-borne diseases and implement any appropriate hygiene precautions
- Keep away from low lying areas or basements which may contain harmful vapours and gasses until specialist clearance has been obtained
How can we help you?
If you would like us to provide a quotation for your insurance please complete one of the following:
- Complete the form on the Homepage
- Fill in the form on our contact us page
- Email us at email@example.com
- Call 01637 876 876
We do everything we possibly can to check that we have got our facts straight, but it’s always possible that we could make a mistake (hopefully not or never would be better). Therefore we would like to make you aware that we accept no responsibility for information that may be factually incorrect or out of date, but we will do our best to make sure that all content is accurate. Our vision behind bringing the blog to the wider community is to keep our clients and prospective clients informed of their legal requirements, the different products on offer and how they may benefit your business and the new schemes we find which we think will benefit you.
We are Personal and Commercial Insurance Brokers based in Newquay, Cornwall covering the whole of the UK.
Information taken from LV Managing the Risk of Flood guide
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