By Ian Cox

We have seen recently unprecedented rainfalls causing widespread flooding across the country and untold misery to thousands of home owners.   We are warned that we can expect more extreme weather in the future.     We therefore set out below some precautions which may be taken in an effort to alleviate at least in part some of the consequences of flooding.

Survival Plan

  • Check that your insurance is adequate and that documents are kept in a safe place. If you live in a flood risk area, you may face higher premiums or excess so get quotes from several insurers.
  • Store sentimental items in a bag ready to remove if needed.
  • Turn off gas, electricity and water.
  • Make a family flood plan - who does what and goes where in a crisis.
  • Make a flood kit - torch, mobile phone, wellies (or flip flops) blankets, a first aid kit, waterproofs.
  • Think about where you might move your car to a safer place.
  • Get hold of sandbags.
  • Have your camera or video camera ready - with plenty of film or batteries.
  • Keep all damaged items, as your insurer may need to inspect them - unless they pose a health risk.
  • Keep receipts for emergency repairs, as these may form part of your claim.

Forward Planning

Norwich Union estimates that if you take defensive action, the cost of restoration can be reduced from an average £48,564. per house to  £8,560 and flood victims can move back within  days or weeks rather than months.

  • Lay hard floors in your house, dispensing with carpets.
  • Raise kitchen units up on blocks when you have them fitted.
  • Fit water-resistant door and window frames.
  • Put electrical points, meters and boilers above likely flood levels.
  • Use lime plaster, which dries more quickly.
  • Have covers ready for air bricks.

For further information see :-

Environment Agency Floodline

Tel: 0845 988 1188


National Flood Forum

Tel: 01299 403055

Association of British Insurers


British Insurance Brokers Association

Tel: 0901 814 0015