Flooding preparation and safety advice

During widespread flooding we will be very busy and will have to prioritise our attendance to emergencies where there is a risk to life. Here are some tips for you to follow.

You can stay up to date with flooding information by signing up to flood alerts from the environment agency via its website (opens in a new tab).

Flooding is dangerous and extremely disruptive, but there are some practical steps you can take to prepare yourself and your home.

Preparing ahead of time can lessen the damage flooding causes to your property, potentially saving you money and allowing you to recover more quickly after the flood.

  1. Turn off the electrics and gas supplies in your house.

  2. Where possible and practicable move items up off the ground or up to a higher level in your property.

  3. Plan where you could travel ahead of time to avoid the flooding. Remember not to drive through flood water.

  4. Sign up to receive notifications about flood alerts and warnings from the UK Government website (opens in a new tab).

Ahead of bad weather such as storms, it's also important to follow local and national media so you're aware of the weather forecast. Why not bookmark your favourite links, or make a note of local radio stations that provide flood information?

Here you can see what Lancashire County Council have to say about flooding and what you can do to prepare

Recovering your electrics after a flood

  • Make sure all electrical circuits are fully dried out and checked by an electrical engineer before switching appliances and sockets back on.

  • When drying out your property be careful to ensure you’re not overloading extension leads or adapters.

  • Only use electrical appliances if you know they are still in good working order.

  • Try to ensure you only use washing machines or tumble dryers when you are at home and awake. Avoid using them overnight when you are asleep.

Using electric heaters after a flood

  • Always switch heaters off if you are going to leave them unattended.

  • Keep portable heaters at least one metre away from furniture or other flammable items.

  • We understand you will want to dry your property out as quickly as possible but don’t be tempted to use portable heaters to do this. You could put yourself at a higher risk of having an accidental house fire. We would advise you either contact professional services or use dehumidifiers instead.

Cooking safely after a flood

  • Your cooker may not be working or you may be forced to live upstairs, so take care if you have to make alternative arrangements for cooking.

  • You may be tempted to cook on disposable barbecues inside, however not only does this increase your fire risk but it puts you at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning too.

  • There will no doubt be more people calling you on the telephone or knocking on the door at this time, so take care when cooking. Try to avoid distractions, but if you do get called away remember to either turn the heat down or remove pans from the heat altogether.

Checking smoke alarms after a flood

  • Ensure you have a working smoke alarm in your property and test it regularly. If you struggle to test it, see if there’s a friend or neighbour who could help you.

  • If you use a specialist smoke alarm like a hard of hearing alarm or linked system with a pager, please check the backup battery is working if your electrics have been affected.

  • Consider any difficulties you and your family may have trying to get out of your property if you need to do so quickly. Think about the best door to use, the location of keys, torches etc. and try to keep routes clear from obstructions.