Progress on the Somerset Levels and Moors 20 year
You can learn more about the work we are doing and contribute to
the plan here
How to prepare for flooding
What to do to limit the impact of an emergency:
- Get information on flood warnings by calling
the Floodline on 0345 988 1188 or by visiting the
Environment Agency Flood Warnings or the
Met Office websites.
- Make a list of important contacts. Include phone numbers for
family, friends, neighbours, your children's school and GP. Carry
this in your wallet or handbag and keep copies at work, home and in
- Add ICE (in case of emergency) contacts to your mobile phone.
Store your next of kin contacts on your mobile phone under ICE1,
ICE2, ICE3 etc to help paramedics find who to contact in case of an
- Arrange for a friend or relative out of your area to be the
family contact point in case your family becomes separated in an
- Request sandbags.
- Make up an emergency pack* for home and the
car and perhaps work. Include the following in your emergency
- A battery powered radio
- Torch with spare batteries or a wind-up torch
- First aid kit
- A copy of your contact list
- Bottled water
- Mobile phone and charger
- Warm clothing
- Essential medication and personal items (glasses)
- Baby food, nappies
- Wallet, purse and bank cards
- Pet carrier, collar and lead (take pets with you)
- Know how to turn off your gas, water and electricity.
- Even if you listen to other stations, know how to tune into
your local radio station for public information in an
- Check your insurance
cover is up to date.
If your home is in a flood risk area, keep a stock of sandbags
and sand. Householders are responsible for protecting their own
property from flooding and we strongly recommend you make provision
in advance against the risk of flooding.
What to do if flooding is expected
- Watch water levels and stay tuned to the local radio or TV. You
can also get updates by phoning the Floodline on 0845 988 1188
- Alert your neighbours, particularly the elderly
- Move food, valuable, pets, livestock other items to safety
- Put sandbags or flood boards in place
- Prepare to turn off gas and electricity
- Be prepared to evacuate your home
- Protect yourself, your family and others that need your
- Try to keep calm, and to reassure others, especially
- Co-operate with emergency services and local authorities
- Prepare for evacuation
What to do after a flood
Follow our advice to help you get back to normal as quickly as
possible after a flood
What to do first
- Do not enter your house until all floodwater has been removed.
Somerset Fire and Rescue Service may be able to help you with
pumping floodwater out of your house. Remember others may also need
this help so you may have to wait your turn.
- If nearby traffic is causing further flooding to your property
contact Avon and Somerset Police. Alternatively, if
flooding is being caused by a public sewer contact Wessex
- Always wear rubber gloves to move objects or clean surfaces
that have been in contact with the floodwater, as the water will
have been contaminated with sewage and other pollution.
- Don't dispose of damaged goods until your insurers have had a
chance to inspect them
- Get a qualified plumber and electrician to reconnect
appliances. Look in the Yellow Pages or on www.yell.com under
- Don't use electrical equipment that has been exposed to flood
water until checked by a qualified electrician.
- Avoid young children playing directly on timber floorboards or
damaged tiled floors until the floors have been fully repaired, as
injury could arise due to sharp edges of tiles or raised nails in
- Do not let young children play on affected areas until they
have been cleaned down and restored to their normal condition.
Children should always wash their hands after playing outdoors,
especially before eating or preparing food.
- Regularly vacuum up any loose material and dust.
- Contact your doctor if you become ill. You may have swallowed
- We can help the elderly and vulnerable return to their
- Ventilate your house after flooding - less damp is less
- Put on protective clothing before starting any clean-up.
- Remove all soft furnishings and fittings that are damaged
- Remove dirty water and silt from the property including the
space under the ground floor if you have wooden floors. This space
may need pumping out.
- Wash down all hard surfaces with hot soapy water and a domestic
disinfectant (following manufacturer's directions as to
concentrations) to wash over all hard surfaces after cleaning.
- Clothing, bedding and other soft/fabric articles including
children's toys etc should be laundered at the highest temperature
as indicated on manufacturer's instructions. If this is less than
82 degrees centigrade the articles may still contain bacteria.
- Other soft furnishings that have been contaminated and cannot
be put in a washing machine on a hot wash (as above) will have to
be professionally cleaned or if this is not possible may have to be
- Contact our Environmental Protection Team for any advice on
clearing up if you have any doubts about it.
- Seek professional advice (structural engineer) if your property
Food preparation and storage
- Don't eat any food that has been covered by or come into
contact with sewage or floodwater.
- Wash your hands before and after preparing food.
- Ensure all surfaces that food will come into contact with are
sound and disinfected. If work tops and other areas show signs of
damage, avoid food contact with these areas. Particularly make sure
that the shelves including those in your refrigerator where food is
stored are cleaned and disinfected.
- Food preparation surfaces should be wiped down using hot tap
water containing washing-up-liquid, and dishes and other utensils
should also be washed in hot tap water containing
washing-up-liquid. You could also use food safe disinfectant to
sanitise the surfaces, dishes and other utensils.
- All crockery, pots and pans should be thoroughly washed and
rinsed with hot soapy water before using. If any of these are badly
chipped or damaged do not use. You could use a food safe
disinfectant to sanitise them after cleaning.
- Frozen food that has been at ambient temperature for a few
hours should be discarded in an appropriate manner. Check with
insurers before disposal.
- Don't eat garden or allotment vegetables that have been covered
by sewerage or floodwater.
- Don't be tempted to try and salvage damaged food -- including
tins as they may be contaminated with sewage and chemicals left
from the floodwater.
Check your insurance policy and contact your insurance company
immediately. The majority of household policies provide insurance
cover for flooding. If you are a tenant and have taken out contents
insurance, household contents, fixtures and fittings should be
covered; it is normally the responsibility of your landlord to
provide building insurance.
If you are uninsured you will most likely be responsible for
covering all costs of flood damage. Remember to keep records of
flood damage (photos etc).
Are you concerned about flooding in your area?
If you would like advice on dealing with specific flooding
problems, please contact us for help and guidance.
Contact us for flooding advice