Storm Franklin: What to do if your home floods

There are currently 151 flood warnings in place across the UK

Saman Javed
Monday 21 February 2022 12:24 GMT
River Wharfe floods In England as Storm Franklin approaches

Dozens of homes have been evacuated and more than 150 flood warnings have been put in place due to Storm Franklin, the third named storm to hit the UK in a week.

The Environment Agency issued two severe flood warnings on Monday 21 February for areas in south Manchester, prompting evacuations of at least 70 properties close to the River Mersey in Didsbury and Northenden.

Flood warnings are also in place across northeast England, southeast England, and Wales. Amber alerts have been issued in the northwest of England, the Midlands and the south. A total of 151 warnings are currently in place.

Across the UK, river levels remain high and heavy rain is expected to continue throughout Monday.

The threat of flooding and strong winds is also disrupting travel services, with train companies advising people not to travel.

With weather warnings issued in different parts of the country, it’s helpful to know how to minimise the risks in case of flooding.

What insurance should you have?

Flood cover is a standard feature of most home insurance policies, but experts recommend homeowners double check their policies to make sure this is the case.

If you’re uncertain, the National Flood Forum offers advice on how to get the best insurance if you live in a flood-prone area.

For those who are renting, flooding insurance will be covered by the landlord, but you may wish to insure some of your personal property which will not be covered by the insurance plan.

How can you make sure you’re best prepared in the event of a flood?

When a severe flood warning is issued, it means that flooding is expected.

People living in these areas should prepare ahead of time by taking detailed photographs of all areas of their property to show their insurance company if it is damaged.

Additionally, experts recommend packing a “flood kit” containing essentials should you need to evacuate the premises. This includes essentials such as a change of clothes, thermals, underwear, toothbrush and toothpaste.

Those living in flood warning areas should also make sure all of their important documents and treasured mementos are safely stored. These could be moved upstairs or to another part of your property where water is unlikely to reach.

What should you do if your house floods?

In the scenario that your property does flood, there are several steps you should take.

Find safety

The most important thing is to make sure that you and your family are safe. You should either move to a dry part of your home or evacuate to a dry area outside.

“Do not touch any electrical appliances until you are told it is safe to do so and stay out of floodwater,” experts at Flood Guidance said.

Document everything

Homeowners should document the extent of the damage by the flood by taking pictures of their home showing everywhere the water reaches.

You could also use a permanent marker to mark the walls and show how high the water reached.

However, the water flooding your home could include sewage and other hazardous material so be cautious not to touch it.

In most cases, insurance companies will send a loss adjuster to examine the damage to your property.

Some insurance policies also cover the loss of perishable goods. In this case, people should make a list of all the foods they throw away and those items from the fridge and freezer that are ruined by loss of electricity.

Additionally, keep a note of all telephone calls made to your insurance provider following the flood and who you spoke with, ask for confirmation of what the company will cover and keep a record of what was agreed.

Turn off electricity

Experts at Flood Guidance warn that all electrical systems in your home should be turned off as soon as possible, but do not walk through water to get to the fuse box.

If you can’t reach the fuse box without stepping in water, you should call an electrician.

Evacuate if necessary

The UK Environmental Agency urges the public to cooperate with the emergency services if they tell you to evacuate during flooding.

Those who are evacuated will be taken to an evacuation centre run by their local council. Here, free food and bedding will be provided.

You should be prepared to bring spare clothing, essential medication and babycare items if necessary.

Most evacuation centres also allow people to bring their pets.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in