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Recovering from a flood

If you are affected by flooding there are a number of things you should do:

  • avoid going into flood water. There could be hidden dangers such as live electricity cables, sharp objects, raised manhole covers and pollution. Also water may be deeper than it first appears
  • ring your insurance company and register your claim. Take photos or videos before you start cleaning and make a list of everything that has been damaged
  • find out how to dispose of flood damaged items safely, after you have spoken to your insurance company
  • make sure all electrical circuits are fully dried out and checked by a registered electrician before switching them back on. Only use electrical appliances if you know they are still in good working order. Find more information on how to do this from Electrical Safety First
  • use dehumidifiers to dry out your property rather than portable heaters which can put you at risk of having a fire. If you do use portable heaters, keep them at least one metre away from furniture or other flammable items. When drying out your property don’t overload extension leads or adaptors
  • do not use petrol or diesel generators or other similar fuel-driven equipment indoors. The exhaust gases contain carbon monoxide which can kill. If you can’t use your cooker, don’t use disposable barbecues inside as you will be at risk of having a fire and carbon monoxide poisoning
  • wear rubber boots and gloves to clean up, and wash your hands afterwards. Clean all hard surfaces (such as walls and floors) with hot water and detergent. Hard surfaces contaminated by sewage need to be cleaned and disinfected
  • food safety advice after flooding including how to make baby food without mains water, is available from the Food Standards Agency
  • if you have sandbags that can still be used, keep them in a dry location, off the ground for future use
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