Actions to be taken before, during and after a flood…

ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER A FLOOD.

GENERAL PUBLIC ADVICE

Members of the public are advised to register on the Environment Agency’s Flood Line Warnings Direct Service so they receive the flood warnings via https://fwd.environment-agency.gov.uk/app/olr/register or telephone 0345 988 1188 for further information.

Members of the Public must not put their own lives at risk.

Before a flood

  1. Residents are strongly advised that flood protection equipment such as flood boards, plastic covers to seal airbricks, sandbags etc can help stop flood water getting into your property.  Follow manufacturer instructions to put these in place.  You can also get more information about flood protection equipment in the Environment Agency’s ‘prepare your property for flooding’ leaflet which is available on its website www.environment-agency.gov.uk
  2. Know how to turn off electricity, gas and water mains supplies.  Mark taps switches to help you remember.  It is crucial that you turn off your electricity before water gets to you.
  3. Know who to contact and how.  Keep a list of all your important contacts to hand.
  4. Think about what you can move now, don’t wait for a flood.  Move items of personal value and treasured mementos to a safe place.
  5. Think about what you would want to move to safety (pets, cars, furniture, electrical equipment, garden pots plants etc).  Think about who you can ask to help or offer help to. Do you have an elderly neighbour that you can help?
  6. Keep spare batteries for radios and torches – local radio stations often broadcast helpful information.
  7. Keep fridges and freezers closed with a blanket over them as they will stay cold for many hours.
  8. Check your insurance cover.
  9. Prepare a flood kit to include:-
  • copies of your home insurance documents
  • a telephone that does not rely on an electrical supply (an old fashioned cord telphone which you can plug in will work) cordless telephones won’t work in the event of a power cut)
  • a wind up or battery radio
  • warm waterproof clothing and blankets
  • a first aid kit and prescription medicine (do make sure you have a good supply)
  • bottled water and non perishable foods (again please ensure you have a good supply)
  • baby food and baby care items

During an emergency  

  • Listen to updates on your local radio stations or via Flood line 0345 988 1188
  • Keep dry and out of floodwater if possible.  Stay in your property if safe to do so until advised otherwise by the Emergency Services or the floodwater has receded.
  • Do not walk or drive during flowing floodwater.
  • If it is necessary to walk through shallow floodwater, take care for hidden holes, obstacles or other hazards.
  • Do not walk on riverbanks, sea defences or cross bridges over torrential rivers.
  • Avoid contact with floodwater and wash any exposed parts before handling food or attending to wounds.
  • If possible move electrical equipment and furniture upstairs.

If evacuation becomes necessary

  • It is important to remain calm and not to panic.
  • Police officers and other officials may visit properties deemed to be at risk to advice on the requirement to evacuate.
  • Affected residents may hear about the evacuation point via announcements on the local radio stations (BRFM 95.6 and Sheppey FM) verbally and or by e-mail or a leaflet drop only if all or any of these means of communication are an option.
  • Residents may be asked if it is considered safe to do so to check their localities for any elderly / vulnerable family members or neighbours to let them know about the evacuation or inform family members that you are evacuating and to where.
  • Residents advised to listen to the advice of the authorities and follow any instructions to leave a property.

Returning home

  • Contact your insurers as soon as possible and follow their advice.
  • Check the safety of electricity and gas before use.  A qualified electrician needs to check any electrical equipment and circuits that have been exposed to the elements.
  • Avoid contact with any remaining floodwater or items having had contact with floodwater unless wearing protective gloves / clothing.
  • Boil tap water  until it is declared safe by a water supply company.
  • Wash yours and your children’s hands frequently with bottled water if your supply has not been declared fit for use.  Disinfect any children’s toys.
  • Dispose of any contaminated food including tinned food, defrosted food and packaged food that has been exposed to the elements.
  • Seek medical assistance if any health issues appear especially flu like symptoms.
  • Ventilate your property whilst taking care for security.
  • Do not throw rubbish and furniture outdoors, wait for an organised collection.
  • During these hard times be alert to bogus / cowboy builders / traders offering their services.  Make sure you get a written quotation on a letter that is headed paper with a landline number and address.

Recovery

  • Environment Agency (EA) will keep partners informed and provide information where requested.
  • EA Incident Room is likely to be stood down.
  • EA Teams will be clearing grids and monitoring or operating their defence assets as necessary and beginning any repair work.
  • EA will continue to monitor the situation closely.
  • Swale Borough Council to consider all recovery operations and recovery plan.
  • Minster-on-Sea Parish Council to assist with help from the community wherever possible.  It will alert Kent Highway Services to necessary repairs to public infrastructure and act as a signpost for affected residents to responsible organisations for any advice and guidance